A movie script waiting to happen,
Researchers Turn Book Into DNA Code
n the latest attempt to corral society’s growing quantities of digital data, Harvard University researchers encoded an entire book into the genetic molecules of DNA, the basic building block of life, and then accurately read back the text.
Their experiment, reported online Thursday in Science, translated the English text of a coming book on genomic engineering into actual DNA, using the chemical ingredients of genes as a code.
In that form, a billion copies of the book could fit easily in a test tube and, under normal conditions, last for centuries, the researchers said.
The unconventional exercise—one that is a long way from being commercially viable—highlights the potential of DNA as a stable, long-term archive for ordinary information, such as photographs, books, financial records, medical files and videos.