Scientists double down on DNA data storage

DNA data storage experiment
The University of Washington’s Luis Ceze and Lee Organick prepare DNA containing digital data for sequencing. (UW Photo / Tara Brown Photography)

Twist Bioscience says it’s extending its collaboration with Microsoft and the University of Washington on a project aimed at perfecting a process for encoding digital data in DNA molecules.

In a news release issued today, San Francisco-based Twist said Microsoft will purchase 10 million strands of synthetic DNA from the company for use in future experiments. The deal comes more a year after an initial purchase of the same number of strands for data storage.

Last July, researchers at Microsoft and UW announced that they were able to store and read out a record 200 megabytes of DNA-encoded data with 100 percent accuracy.

“After working together for over a year, the organizations have improved storage density, thereby reducing the cost of DNA digital data storage by encoding more data per strand and increasing the throughput of DNA production,” Twist said.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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