Scientists Code Book With DNA

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By Dianna Dilworth Comment

If you think eBooks and apps are at the forefront of book publishing, you may be falling behind in the game. Scientists at Harvard Medical School have used DNA to store data contained in a book.

The Washington Post has more: “The data encoded is the digital version of the book, made up of more than 50,000 words, 11 images and one computer program. The overall size of the data is around 0.7 megabytes, report the scientists, led by George Church of Harvard Medical School. For their work, the researchers have used only off-the-shelf technology.”

The Post goes on to describe the process of how the DNA was encoded, saying the scientists “synthesized short DNA fragments of around 160 nucleotides” with each fragment carrying part of the book, “information about its position, as well as parts necessary for reading and replicating the piece.”

The new technology is probably worlds away from actually being put to use outside of a lab since it is time consuming and expensive. At this point it is probably more likely to end up in a science fiction story than a book store.

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