In 1862, Gregor Mendel bred pea plants to study inheritance. Fast forward 100 years to 1962, James Watson, Frances Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded a Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of DNA. Today, advances in this field are spilling over into the most unlikely places. Tech giants including Facebook and Amazon and their millions of users generate petabytes of data on the Internet every second. Microsoft has been quietly working in the background to store this information in As, Ts, Cs, and Gs, instead of 0s and 1s. Strauss is working with Luis Ceze, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington, to wield DNA for data storage and computing. Using synthetic DNA molecules, the team has successfully stored over one gigabyte of readable information, including various forms of media such as the top 100 books from Project Gutenberg, a high-definition OK Go music video, and the MemoriesInDNA project.
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