Digital storage for periods exceeding a million years using silica encapsulated DNA:
In recent years, there have been several approaches using DNA as a coding language to encode digital information. “However, those approaches are not reliable as they cannot handle errors efficiently and do not suggest how to (physically) store the DNA to maintain its stability over time”, [Robert N.] Grass and his colleagues explain. Therefore, they combined an error-correcting coding scheme with chemically embedding the synthesized DNA strands in capsules of silica. Releasing the DNA was performed by simple fluoride chemistry, after which it was sequenced and decoded. “The corresponding experiments show that only by the combination of the two concepts could digital information be recovered from DNA stored at the Global Seed Vault (at -18 °C) after over 1 million years”, the researchers explain.