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Microsoft recently announced that it successfully managed to store 200 MB of data on strands of synthetic DNA, setting a record 10 times bigger than the previous accomplishment of this kind.

The reported more than 100 books archived included the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with more than 100 language translations, the top 100 public domain books by Project Guttenberg as well as Crop Trust's global seed database, The TechTimes reported.

Although the cost of making the 200 MB DNA data store is estimated to be a few thousand dollars, researchers at Microsoft said that in the coming years, the cost is likely to drop significantly, making DNA molecules a viable alternative to the devices now being used.

This is the crucial bit with DNA storage, with massive space savings promised, and Redmond talking about the masses of information stored in a huge data centre being able to be effectively compressed down to the size of just a few sugar cubes. "Extrapolating the possibilities of DNA data storage based upon this milestone, Microsoft says that it means that "all the publicly accessible data on the Internet", could be fitted in a storage medium the size of a shoebox". "That is the promise of DNA storage - once scientists are able to scale the technology and overcome a series of technical hurdles", Microsoft stated in a blog.

The cloud, though a popular solution among many home and business users, can't possibly hold all the information in the growing world.

"This is a concrete example that we can build computers in a very different way, that's more than just silicon", said Luis Ceze, a UW associate professor and the university's principal researcher on the project.

"It's eternally relevant", she says.

Digital data from more than 600 basic smartphones can be stored in the faint pink smear of DNA at the end of this test tube.

Twist makes the molecules to the researchers' specifications, and then sends them back to the Seattle lab, located under the UW's electrical-engineering center.

Researchers read the data through RAM and use a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to multiply or "amplify" the strands it wants to recover.

Research into DNA storage technology is progressing quickly, according to Microsoft, which claimed that researchers have increased the storage capability in synthetic DNA by a factor of 1,000 in the past year alone.

In the technology industry, the dense molecules could become a powerful aid in storing and archiving photos, video and other digital information. Microsoft Corporation started by encoding and decoding a number of essential works into the genetic molecule, eventually storing over 100 books on DNA. The video wasn't chosen entirely out of puckishness; the team needed a large file to see if they could search for specific nucleotide sequences in the data, which it turns out they can.

In April, Microsoft and GW researchers were able to store these three image files, which were synthesized and sequenced in DNA.


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