Breaks in DNA of Escherichia coli have become bits of information

Biochemists have proposed a new method of recording information on a natural DNA molecule, in which the encoding is by position of single-stranded gap. Record information in such a memory cell is immune from coding errors and is much faster than synthetic coding nucleotides, however, that the new method loses in density. Article published in the journal Nature Communications.

The idea of storing digital information in the DNA molecule touched in 1959 American physicist Richard Feynman in his lecture titled “the Bottom is full of places: an invitation to a new world of physics.” Storing information on DNA molecules is interesting due to its tremendous information capacity — last year, scientists recorded 16 gigabytes of text of the English version of Wikipedia in a single DNA molecule. Coding in such systems is due to the synthesis of a molecule of a specific sequence of nucleotides: adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. However, this approach has many limitations and inconveniences. In one cycle the DNA molecule adds only one nucleotide, but because the process is long and costly relative to the common optical and magnetic recording media. Moreover the synthesis is error-prone and even under optimal process the number of errors can reach up to 21 percent.

Olgica Milenkovic (Olgica Milenkovic) with their colleagues have proposed a new method of recording information on DNA molecules derived from living organisms, based on the single-stranded gap of DNA molecules by the enzyme. Scientists are thus recorded and considered information on the DNA of the bacterium E. coli (Escherichia coli) the Gettysburg address (0.4 KB) and a photo of the Lincoln memorial (14 kilobytes).

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