French startup Biomemory has released a credit card-style storage device that uses DNA to encode and store kilobytes of text data.
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DNA technology has been touted as a theoretical alternative to hard drives, SSDs and other forms of digital data storage that could outperform competitors with a lifespan of up to 150 years. At the same time, Biomemory seems to be already implementing this, offering two identical DNA cards for $1000 – each with one kilobyte of memory.
Kilobytes are about the length of a short email, so the card is unlikely to help with storing piles of photos, videos and documents. However, this is a signal that DNA storage is becoming available to consumers.
The system works by converting digital information into the elements that make up DNA: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). On the Biomemory page (below) you can see how the technology converts text into code.
After encoding, Biomemory creates a unique strand of DNA – a process that takes about 8 hours for one kilobyte of data, which is then “fixed” on the DNA card chip. When the client wants to receive the data, one of the cards must be sent to Biomemory’s partners – Eurofins Genomics. You will receive an email with a code string that can be deciphered using Biomemory's DNA translator.
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To receive a card, you can join the waiting list, and they will begin sending them to clients in January.