April 29, 2016
The multinational tech company bought the DNA from Twist Bioscience, an announcement confirmed Thursday.
“[The] vast majority of digital data is stored on media that has a finite shelf life and periodically needs to be re-encoded. DNA is a promising storage media, as it has a known shelf life of several thousand years, offers a permanent storage and can be read for continuously decreasing costs,” said Emily Leproust, CEO of Twist Bioscience, in a statement.
As the digital universe is expected to hit 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, Twist Bioscience argues that using DNA for archival purposes solves the twin problems of limited lifespan and low data density when data is normally stored on a hard drive.
A single gram of DNA can store almost one trillion gigabytes (almost a zettabyte) of digital data. The idea of storing data in DNA was first put forward in 2012 by Harvard geneticist George Church, who encoded an entire book in DNA.