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Preserving the Future: Israeli Researches Unveil the Coding Technique to Store Data on DNA

Could all the data produced by YouTube be stored in the volume of a single teaspoon? And could thousands of copies of the Bible be preserved in a unit that is a billionth of a gram? Israeli researchers say, theoretically, yes. And the way to do it is by using DNA for data storage.

In a new study, Israeli researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya make a case for using DNA as part of a viable, long-term solution to storing our digital libraries as well as the incredible amount of data created every day by humans and machines. And they say they’ve developed a new DNA coding method to do so.

“The density and long-term stability of DNA make it an appealing storage medium, particularly for long-term data archiving,” the researchers say in a study titled “Data storage in DNA with fewer synthesis cycles using composite DNA letters,” published this week in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.

The study was led by research student Leon Anavy at the Technion Faculty of Computer Science under the guidance of Professor Zohar Yakhini of the Technion Faculty of Computer Science and the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC), in collaboration with Professor Roee Amit’s Synthetic Biology Laboratory at the Technion Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Dr. Orna Atar, lab manager at the Synthetic Biology Laboratory, and research student Inbal Vaknin.

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