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 Turning DNA into a hard drive

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Turning DNA into a hard drive Vide
PostSubject: Turning DNA into a hard drive   Turning DNA into a hard drive Icon_minitimeSat May 26, 2012 6:57 am

Stanford's Drew Endy and his lab figured out a way to turn DNA into a rewriteable data storage device that can operate within a cell.

Turning DNA into a hard drive 70145146



Silicon-based computers are fine for typing term papers and surfing the Web, but scientists want to make devices that can work on a far smaller scale, recording data within individual cells. One way to do that is to create a microscopic hard drive out of DNA, the molecule that already stores the genetic blueprints of all living things.

Stanford University bioengineer Drew Endy is a pioneer in the field of synthetic biology, which aims to turn the basic building blocks of nature into tools for designing living machines. This week, members of his lab reported in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences that they had figured out a way to turn DNA into a rewriteable data storage device that can operate within a cell. He spoke with The Times about the research.

What is synthetic biology?

Synthetic biology is basically a celebration of an engineer's inclination to want to make things using biology. Humans often learn by taking things apart. But an equally powerful way to learn is putting things back together. In synthetic biology, we can begin to put natural biological systems back together at the molecular level to test the understanding of genetics and biology we've accrued over the last 70 years.

So you want to build things using biology — including, in this case, a way to use DNA to store data?

More: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-synthetic-biology-q-a-20120526,0,4569181.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmostviewed+%28L.A.+Times+-+Most+Viewed+Stories%29
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