Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Storing data in DNA for a million years

Over the last few years you will have heard people discuss how our DNA stores the data of our ancestry, whether Y-DNA information from our paternal ancestors (used for surname lines), mitochondrial DNA to preserve a time line through our maternal ancestors, or autosomal DNA which preserves DNA information from each of our parents and several lines going back on all fronts.

Here's an interesting thing though - how about embedding a copy of our family tree into DNA and using it as a hard drive for the next million years? In fact, how about embedding all data ever collated into DNA? Science fiction? Not in the slightest, apparently...

Scientists have successfully experimented with preserving data in DNA in Zurich. For the full story visit, with the press release available at

Personally, I still like having a CD collection and a bundle of thumb drives...! :)

(With thanks to Helen Smith via Facebook)


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