British scientist Rosalind Franklin, who spent the early 1950s researching the structure of DNA at King's College London, should have won the Nobel Prize. She very well may have, except that her untimely death from ovarian cancer at the age of 37 meant that the Nobel Committee, which does not award posthumously, did not even consider her. For it was Franklin, not the famous scientific duo Watson and Crick, who captured the first image proving the shape of deoxyribonucleic acid -- better known as DNA, the building block of all life. At the time, Franklin was applying her expertise in x-ray crystallography to determine the structure of DNA in collaboration with King's College Ph.D. student Raymond Gosling. The researchers captured an image of moistened DNA fibers using x-ray diffraction techniques and equipment refined by Franklin herself.
All of the digital storage devices we use – flash drives, hard drives, magnetic and optical media, degrade after a few years. But Microsoft and the University of Washington have stored 200 megabytes of data in something that will preserve information for centuries - DNA. Researchers have successfully transferred the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in over 100 languages and a video of the band OK Go's'This Too Shall Pass' on one molecular strand. Microsoft and the University of Washington have stored 200 megabytes of data in something that will preserver information for centuries -- DNA. The duo announced has transferred the Universal Declaration of human Rights in over 100 languages, the top 100 classic books and a high-definition music video of the band OK Go's'This Too Shall Pass' on one molecular strand The researchers began with a method that converts the long strings of ones and zeros in digital data into the four basic blocks of DNA sequences – adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.
DNA isn't the only molecule we could use for digital storage. It turns out that solutions containing sugars, amino acids and other small molecules could replace hard drives too. Jacob Rosenstein and his colleagues at Brown University, Rhode Island, stored and retrieved pictures of an Egyptian cat, an ibex and an anchor using an array of these small molecules. They say the approach could make storage that is less vulnerable to hacking and that could function in more extreme environmental conditions. Inspired by recent research showing that it is possible to store data on DNA, Rosenstein's team wanted to see if smaller and simpler molecules could also encode abstract information.
The'digital universe' is expected to hit 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, which exceeds our storage capabilities. In order to make up for this lack of space, researchers have developed a technique that stores digital information within DNA. While the idea has been tried before, now researchers have encoded digital data from image files into a nucleotide sequence of synthetic DNA snippets and reversed the process to retrieve them – with zero data loss. In order to make up for this lack of space, researchers have developed a technique that stores digital images within the faint pink smear of DNA that sits at the end of a test tube. The researchers began with a method that converts the long strings of ones and zeros in digital data into the four basic blocks of DNA sequences – adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine.
Imagine a future where all the data in the world is stored in a device the size of a shoebox. In a significant step toward realizing this vision, Microsoft on Thursday announced that it had successfully stored 200MB of data on strands of synthetic DNA, surpassing the previous record of 22MB. In a statement released Thursday, Microsoft, which sought the help of researchers from the University of Washington and the San Francisco startup Twist Bioscience for the project, said that the data, once encoded, occupied an area smaller than the tip of a pencil. "It's essentially a test tube and you can barely see what's in it," Karin Strauss, the principal Microsoft researcher on the project, said. "It looks like a little bit of salt was dried in the bottom."