- Now, a team of researchers has figured out how to add something like a filesystem to DNA storage, allowing random access to specific data within a large collection of DNA.
- To get a sense of why getting this right is important, just take the recently revived NASA satellite as an example—extracting anything from the satellite’s data will rely on the fact that a separate NASA mission had an antiquated tape drive that could read the satellite’s communication software.
- Each of these can be used to tag the intervening data as belonging to a specific file, allowing it to be amplified and sequenced separately, even if it’s present in a large mixture of DNA from different files.
- Still, the errors were mostly random, and the team was able to identify and correct them by sequencing enough molecules so that, on average, each DNA sequence was read 36 times.
- Once a bit of data is translated, it’s chopped up into smaller pieces (usually 100 to 150 bases long) and inserted in between ends that make it easier to copy and sequence.
- To restore the data, all the DNA has to be sequenced, the locational information read, and the DNA sequence decoded.
- Adding random access to data would cut down significantly on the amount of sequencing that would need to be done.