Microsoft Purchases Synthetic DNA to Store Data

By Ajay Kadkol - 01 May '16 22:49PM

Seems like Redmond giants Microsoft have begun experimenting new ways for storing electronic data. Microsoft are now looking to make their way to tap into the human-based DNA model to implement the same to their data-storage as the amount of digital data has been outpacing the amount of stored data made available.

The blog explains that most of the world's data today is stored on magnetic and optical media. Despite improvements in optical discs, storing a zettabyte of data is still a long way probably hundreds of years ahead and use significant physical space.

This project enables molecular-level data storage into DNA molecules by leveraging biotechnology advances in synthesizing, manipulating and sequencing DNA to develop archival storage. Microsoft and University of Washington researches have combined in a collaboration to use DNA in high-density and durable medium where it's easy to manipulate in order to make ways for data storage. Microsoft have also said that while this new project has not been made practical due to the existing state of DNA synthesis and sequencing, technologies have helped improving them researches with advancements in bio-technology industry.

Given the impending limits of silicon technology, we believe hybrid silicon and biochemical systems are worth serious consideration. Biotechnology has benefitted tremendously from progress in silicon technology developed by the computer industry; now is the time for computer architects to consider incorporating biomolecules as an integral part of computer design" Microsoft said.

The firm have now purchased a 10-million long DNA molecules from a San Francisco start-up to carry further their efforts for a new way to store data. The reason for this is being the fact that Microsoft's data might need to be preserved for thousands of years down the lane and this prompted the Redmond based software-giants to look into DNA storage as an alternative.

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