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Pencil and test tube of DNA
All the movies, images, emails and other digital data from hundreds of smartphones can be stored in the pink smear of DNA at the end of the test tube seen at right. (Tara Brown Photography via UW)


DNA数据存储联盟的创始成员,今天亮相Flash Memory Summit那includeMicrosoftas well asTwist BioscienceIlluminaandWestern Digital。Twist Bioscience has been partnering with Microsoft and the University of Washington多年关于旨在利用合成DNA进行数据存储的项目。

Microsoft Research and UW’s分子信息系统实验室已经有证明了全自动的基于DNA的数据存储和检索系统— and in league with Twist, they’ve shown that their system can store a gigabyte of data in a DNA-based archive.

The UW lab is among 10 other organizations that have followed the founders’ lead and joined the alliance.

“We’re encouraged by the potential for more sustainable data storage with DNA and look forward to collaborating with others in the industry to explore early commercialization of this technology,” Karin Strauss, senior principal researcher at Microsoft, said in a news release.

The alliance aims to develop an industry roadmap for ensuring interoperability between different DNA systems, and help establish the foundations of a cost-effective commercial ecosystem for DNA-based archiving. It’ll develop specific use cases for various markets as part of a plan to educate the wider data storage community about the technology’s advantages.

DNA is best-known as the instruction set for life, with a code consisting of four chemical “letters”: adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine. Synthetic DNA data storage techniques don’t use that code for biological purposes. Instead, they take advantage of DNA’s letters to encode files ranging from plain text to high-definition movies.

Such techniques can open the way for ultra-high-density storage: For example, 10 full-length movies can be stored in a volume the size of a single grain of salt. And when the DNA is encased in pellets or glass beads, the data can be stored reliably for millennia. The Arch Mission Foundation plans tosend such a DNA data archive to the moonas early as明年

In itspredictions for future tech trends那Gartner projects that 30% of digital businesses will mandate trials of DNA data storage techniques by 2024, due to the anticipated exponential growth of data.

“There is an unmet need for a new long-term archival storage medium that keeps up with the rate of digital data growth,” said Steffen Hellmold, Western Digital’s vice president for corporate strategic initiatives.


Emily Leproust, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, said DNA could fill the bill.


In addition to the founders, these 10 organizations were listed today as members of the DNA Data Storage Alliance, and more organizations are being recruited:


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