January 24, 2013

Storing sonnets on a double helix.

All it took was a couple of guys having a few pints and figuring out that you can use DNA as a hard drive.
They started with a text file of one of Shakespeare's sonnets. In the computer's most basic language, it existed as a series of zeroes and ones. With a simple cipher, the scientists translated these zeroes and ones into the letters of DNA.

And then they did the same for the rest of Shakespeare's sonnets, an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, and a picture of their office. They sent that code off to Agilent Technologies, a biotech company...
The idea of storing data – text, audio and images – in DNA to save space is beyond mind-bending.This statement alone gives me vertigo.
If you took everything human beings have ever written — an estimated 50 billion megabytes of text — and stored it in DNA, that DNA would still weigh less than a granola bar.
NPR: Shall I Encode Thee In DNA? Sonnets Stored On Double Helix : NPR

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