Microsoft is making big data really small using DNA

Microsoft has partnered with a San Francisco-based company to encode information on synthetic DNA to test its potential as a new medium for data storage. 

Twist Bioscience will provide Microsoft with 10 million DNA strands for the purpose of encoding digital data. In other words, Microsoft is trying to figure out how the same molecules that make up humans’ genetic code can be used to encode digital information. 

While a commercial product is still years away, initial tests have shown that it’s possible to encode and recover 100 percent of digital data from synthetic DNA, said Doug Carmean, a Microsoft partner architect, in a statement.

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