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Apr 19, 2017 11:42 AM EDT

DNA strands hold a lot of promise in holding tons of digital data that could withstand the test of time. Initial tests have been successful but the whole process still proved to be expensive and complicated. In a move to further the research on DNA strands as data carriers, Microsoft has bought an additional 10 million DNA strands recently.

The announcement for the additional purchase was announced by Twist Bioscience on April 17. Back in 2016, Microsoft has purchased an initial 10 million strands of synthetic DNA from the company.

Emily M. Leproust, CEO of Twist Bioscience, expressed her delight over the positive and increasing excitement over DNA as storage solution to the growing challenges in digital data storage. With that growing interest in DNA storage, the company also announced that it will be increasing their production of synthetic DNA in order t o further the technology.

The giant tech company collaborated with scientists from the University of Washington to improve the process of storing data using the DNA strands. In July that year, the scientists made a breakthrough by storing a 200-MB worth of data on DNA the size of a pencil tip.

Karin Strauss, a senior researcher at Microsoft, said that there are still many challenges before DNA data storage become mainstream but they are happy with the breakthrough they made.

At present, there is a big need for a new method of storing data as the quantity of digital data produced is doubling every year. Using DNA as a data storage has two advantages - first, it can last up to 2,000 years without any damage and second, it can hold zettabytes of data in just a few grams of DNA. Some of the practical uses of DNA data storage will be in medical data and video footages.

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