Researchers have found a way to store audio in DNA
After working with Microsoft and University of Washington, researchers at Twist Bioscience have successfully been able to encode two songs in DNA. The songs of choice? Miles Davis’ “Tutu” and Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.”
This is the first time DNA has been used for “long-term, archival-quality storage,” according to a report from Pitchfork.
DNA looks to be a viable option for long-term storage, especially since the amount of physical room the files take up is so small. Karin Strauss, Ph.D., a senior researcher at Microsoft, says the amount of DNA used to store these audio files is “much smaller than one grain of sand. Amazingly, storing the entire six petabyte Montreux Jazz Festival’s collection would result in DNA smaller than one grain of rice.”
Given the unpredictability of future digital storage, the Twist Bioscience team believes that DNA is a safe bet for archiving files.
“Where the very best conventional storage media may preserve their digital content for a hundred years under precise conditions, synthetic DNA preserves its information content for hundreds or thousands of years,” the company claims.