Science 3 min read

Researchers Successfully Store Data in Living Bacteria's DNA

PublicDomainPictures /

PublicDomainPictures /

The idea of storing data in DNA is not new.

It begins with researchers converting a data file — represented by binary numbers — into a combination of the molecule‘s four bases. These include adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine.

After that, they can write that code into DNA using a DNA synthesizer.

Unfortunately, that’s not nearly as simple as it sounds. That’s because the DNA synthesis’s accuracy decreases as the code gets longer. As a workaround, researchers usually have to break their files down into chunks.

Then, they would write those chunks into snippets of DNA between 200 and 300 bases long. DNA sequencers could eventually reassemble the snippets again to access the data.

As you can imagine, the technology is quite expensive.

For example, it could cost as much as $3,500 to synthesize one megabit of information. Moreover, the vials of DNA in which the researchers stored data can still degrade over time.

A team led by Harris Wang of Colombia University devised a way to tackle this issue.

In their published paper in the journal Nature, the team wrote:

“This work establishes a direct digital-to-biological data storage framework and advances our capacity for information exchange between silicon- and carbon-based entities.”

Here’s the breakdown of the study.

Storing Data in the DNA of Living Bacteria

Wang and his team figured out a way to use the same method with living organisms. That way, the data can last much longer. Also, organisms can pass it down to their offspring.

Using CRISPR, the team managed to electrically encode 72 bits of data to write the words “Hello world!” into a population of bacterial cells.

There are several benefits to using the DNA as data storage.

For one, it’s over a thousand times as dense as the most compact hard drives. As a result, the DNA can store an equivalent of 10-full length movies within the volume of a single grain of salt.

Besides, DNA is central to biology. So, the technology to read and write data on it should become more accessible and powerful.

With that said, we’re still a long way from storing data in the DNA of living cells.

As impressive as the feat may seem, 72 bits is not a lot of data. As such, it’s unlikely that we’ll be storing and retrieving data from living cells in the next couple of years.

We’re not going to compete with the current memory storage systems,” Wang said.

Read More: Harnessing Class 1 CRISPR Systems to Improve Human Gene Editing

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

Found this article interesting?

Let Sumbo Bello know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media.

Profile Image

Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

Comments (3)
Most Recent most recent
  1. Profile Image
    Dung Hung October 26 at 12:49 am GMT


    I am by name Dung Hung from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Losing a BTC wallet can be a nightmare for anyone who has invested a lot in cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, I found myself in this exact situation a few days ago when I realized that I had lost my BTC wallet. The panic and anxiety that came with losing something so valuable were overwhelming, and I was desperate to find a solution. After extensive research, I finally decided to reach out to OMEGA CRYPTO RECOVERY SPECIALIST, a recovery service that helped me recover my lost BTC wallet. I am a living testifier and I am putting this out here to anyone who also requires their service. They are fast and reliable

    Contact Line;

    www . omegarecoveryspecialist . c o m

    +1 (251), 2 16. 64 6 6

    Mail; support@omegarecoveryspecialist . c o m

  2. Profile Image
    Robin Arturo May 13 at 4:08 pm GMT

    My Review: How to Recover Your Lost or Stolen Bitcoins – iBolt Cyber Hacker

    iBolt Cyber Hacker offers solutions to help regain control of digital assets, Whether your bitcoins were stolen through hacking, lost due to forgotten keys, or inaccessible for any other reason, iBolt Cyber Hacker has the experence to help you. Their team use advanced blockchain technology with sophisticated cybersecurity techniques to navigate the complexities of cryptocurrency recovery.

    I Truly Recommend Them

    More Info:
    Email: Support @ iboltcyberhack . com
    Contact/Whatsapp: +39 350 929 0318
    Website: https : // iboltcyberhack . com /

  3. Profile Image
    Gloria Matthew May 26 at 12:41 am GMT

    Hire iBolt Cyber Hacker to recover your cryptocurrency from fraudulent investments.

    I’d like to tell how I lost my funds after investing with a scam crypto trading platform, I finally located a legitimate Crypto Recovery team iBolt Cyber Hacker, I had previously seen many testimonies about them, but I never imagined I’d need their services until I became a victim of a cryptocurrency investment fraud offered to me by someone I met online. I was upset and the first thing I did was call the police, but nothing was done. My last option was to use iBolt Cyber Hacker. I gave the scammers details and screenshots of the transactions I performed, and they used these to trace my funds and recovered everything, My greatest gratitude goes to iBolt Cyber Hacker Please i urge everyone to be extremely careful.

    More Info:
    Email: Support @ iboltcyberhack . com
    Contact/Whatsapp: +39 350 929 0318
    Website: https : // iboltcyberhack . com /

share Scroll to top

Link Copied Successfully

Sign in

Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you.

Sign in with Google Sign in with Facebook

By using our site you agree to our privacy policy.