Microsoft researchers waited greater than two years to be assigned a patent that brings the potential for storing knowledge on DNA a bit nearer – a transfer prone to make backup media comparable to tape out of date.
The High-density DNA storage with salt patent (no. 10,793,852) was filed again in 2018, however solely acquired approval on the USPTO in October 2020.
It reads like a kitchen recipe, referring to a dried product shaped by “drying a salt solution together with artificially synthesized DNA molecules encoding digital information”. Apparently, the cations and anions at play don’t affect the results of the method.
Drying the DNA with salt prevents it from degrading too quick; Microsoft researchers discovered that eradicating liquid reduces the speed of degradation by practically 70% in contrast with untreated DNA. Likewise, the dry product shaped from DNA and a salt have a far greater DNA density, by nearly one third.
DNA storage with salt appears to be an thrilling (albeit far-fetched) candidate for long-term, high-density storage for archival functions. Unsurprisingly, the patent is coy about timeframes and storage capacities, which is comprehensible given how far we’re from getting a product.
The information comes a couple of days after Microsoft introduced it has joined forces with Western Digital, the world’s largest storage firm, and a couple of others to launch the DDSA (DNA Data Storage Alliance) . The initiative goals to standardize and promote the adoption of a possible future DNA-based storage system.