Scientists have developed a way of storing vast quantities of information for up to a million years in a single molecule of DNA.
The breakthrough could lead to digital archives of everything from ancient texts to Wikipedia changes being stored in the form of DNA that could in theory survive for hundreds of thousands of years without any loss of data.
Robert Grass and colleagues of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich said they have pioneered a process of encapsulated DNA in glass that is equivalent to creating a fossilised form of data storage.
They have also developed a mathematical algorithm normally used in long-distance radio transmissions to eliminate any errors when deciphering the data written in the digital genetic code of DNA.
“We will show how we can use modern chemical and information engineering tools for the safeguarding of actual digital information in the form of DNA,” the researchers told the American Chemical Society meeting in Boston.