DNA as Information Storage


Scientists have written a message into the DNA of a living organism, a breakthrough they believe could lead to a new era of organic computers capable of healing themselves if damaged.

Yoshiaki Ohashi, who led the study at Keio University in Tokyo, said that bacteria have the potential to store vast quantities of data and are more resistant to the kinds of damage that could wipe modern hard drives. “Information storage using DNA is robust for more than one hundred million years,” he said.

Professor Ohashi said the process would work equally well in plants, fruit and insects. “Cockroaches are very interesting, because they have an ability to tolerate [extreme] environments.”