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Storing the Declaration of Independence in a Single Molecule

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The University of California Irvine's Steve Zylius with a vial of TNA, in front of the Declaration of Independence.

Researchers at the University of California Irvine transcribed the Declaration of Independence and the university's seal to a solution of TNA, and recovered them.

Credit: Steve Zylius/UCI

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) are using an artificial variation of DNA for data storage.

The researchers are using the four-letter nucleotide code in DNA instead of the binary system to transcribe data to a DNA strand.

They sequentially assign each nucleotide a specific binary number, which allows them to write a binary sequence using the nucleotides. A special enzyme that connects the two sequences is added when the genetic code must be retrieved.

For their experiment, the researchers chose threose nucleic acid (TNA), a synthetic genetic polymer less prone to degradation from physical factors.

The researchers were able to transcribe the Declaration of Independence and the UCI seal to a solution of TNA, and recover them.

UCI's John Chaput suggested all data generated during all of human history could be stored in just a half-cup of liquid TNA.

From UCI News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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