Story image

Microsoft's huge breakthrough with DNA data storage

15 Jul 2016

For most, data storage devices equate to floppy disks (debatable), external hard drives, USBs, CD’s and smart phones.

DNA does not.

However, researchers at Microsoft and the University of Washington have reached an early milestone by storing a record 200 megabytes of data within DNA.

According to a company statement, the impressive part isn’t just how much data they were able to encode, but the space they were able to do it in.

Douglas Carmean, partner architect at Microsoft, says that once encoded, the spot occupied was much smaller than the tip of a pencil.

“Think of the amount of data in a big data centre compressed into a few sugar cubes. Or all the publicly accessible data on the Internet slipped into a shoe box. That is the promise of DNA storage – once scientists are able to scale the technology and overcome a series of technical hurdles,” a company statement read.

The team behind the development were able to store digital versions of works of art, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages along with a few other items.

Karin Strauss, the principal Microsoft researcher on the project, says that DNA is always going to be current.

“As long as there is DNA-based life on the planet, we’ll be interested in reading it,” says Strauss.

“So it’s eternally relevant.”

Researchers note that in the last year, their diverse team has increased storage capacity a thousand times over. They also believe they can make big advances in speed by applying computer science principles like error correction to the process.

61% of CIOs believe employees leak data maliciously
Egress conducted a survey to examine the root causes of employee-driven data breaches, their frequency, and impact.
VMware allures APJ channel veteran to take the reins
Balasingam will take on the role of vice president for VMware’s partner business in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ).
Security top priority for Filipinos when choosing a bank - Unisys
Filipinos have greatest appetite in Asia Pacific to use biometrics to access banking services
Opinion: Modular data centers mitigate colocation construction risks
Schneider's Matthew Tavares believes modular data centers are key for colocation providers seeking a competitive advantage with rapid deployment.
Alibaba Cloud opening up data centres & services for AU businesses
At its dedicated China Gateway Summit held in Sydney, Alibaba Cloud announced its new programme for Australian business partners and clients.
VMware announces new features in WMware Cloud, Dell EMC integrations
VMware announced VMware Cloud Foundation 3.7 is expected to be available on Dell EMC VxRail in VMware’s Q1FY20.
Developing APAC countries most vulnerable to malware - Microsoft
“As cyberattacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, understanding prevalent cyberthreats and how to limit their impact has become an imperative.”
Dropbox invests in hosting data inside Australia
Global collaboration platform Dropbox has announced it will now host Australian customer files onshore to support its growing base in the country.