Revolutionary DNA Cards Unveiled: Store Data in Strands, Accessible to All!

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Revolutionary DNA Cards Unveiled: Store Data in Strands, Accessible to All!
(Image: Pixabay/Pixabay-Lizenz)

The French company Biomemory has unveiled a commercially available DNA storage solution: the DNA Cards, which contain 1 kilobyte of text storage stored in DNA strands. According to the company, the DNA Card is the first DNA storage option that is freely accessible and can be purchased by anyone.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) serves as the genetic storage of all living organisms on Earth. Data can be stored in a DNA strand by converting the zeros and ones of digital data into its bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).

The DNA Card operates on this very principle: a relatively short text is converted and stored as DNA in a small, round puck embedded within the card. Apparently, buyers receive the cards preloaded with their specified text. To retrieve the data, the card needs to be sent back to a laboratory that sequences the genetic material and extracts the text.

Laboratory handles the decoding

Considering most individuals won’t have a DNA sequencer at home, Biomemory has included the decoding process in the purchase price of the DNA Card. Eurofins Genomics laboratory undertakes this task, and all necessary documentation for the process is said to be included in the set.

Cardholders receive the respective sequence, which they can decipher through a decoder on a personal web page. The laboratory is also responsible for the initial description of the storage.

As the DNA Card becomes unusable after decoding, buyers receive two cards with identical storage content. This allows them to retain the second card and the data stored on it. Biomemory assures that the DNA data can be stored for at least 150 years without loss, though proper cooling should extend this duration.

DNA Card as a feasibility study for Biomemory

For Biomemory, the DNA Card serves more as a feasibility study. The company plans to introduce a server storage solution using DNA storage technology in the near future. A set comprising two DNA Cards with decoding by Eurofins Genomics costs 1,000 Euros. Production will commence once there are five orders of ten cards each, resulting in a waiting list.

Years of research into DNA storage

Several companies have been researching DNA storage for years. Microsoft, for instance, introduced an automated DNA storage in 2019. By the end of 2021, the company unveiled a smaller DNA storage chip with higher density. In 2022, researchers managed to expand DNA storage by an additional seven bases.

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Michael Lynch
With a passion for cybersecurity, Michael Lynch covers data protection and online privacy, providing expert guidance and updates on digital security matters.