Scientists were able to view information previously stored in DNA

DNA data storage is an attractive technology: you can store a lot of data for a long time

time and do it energy efficiently. However, until now, it has not been possible to view the data in a file stored as DNA.

The advantage of our method is that it is moreefficient in terms of time and money. If you're not sure which file has the data you want, you don't need to sequence all of your DNA in a search. Instead, you can sequence much smaller portions of the DNA files and preview them.

Kyle Tomek, lead author of this paper and a graduate student at the University of North Carolina

Users "name" their data files by attaching DNA sequences, called primer-binding sequences, to the ends of DNA strands: they are the ones that store the information.

To identify and retrieve the file, mostsystems use polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specifically, they use a small DNA primer that matches a specific sequence to identify the DNA strands that contain the desired file.

A primer is a short nucleic acid fragment or linked molecule that serves as the starting point for DNA replication.

The system then uses PCR to domultiple copies of the corresponding DNA strands, and then sequencing the entire sample. Because the process creates multiple copies of the target DNA strands, the target strand signal is stronger than the rest of the sample, allowing the target DNA sequence to be identified and the file read.

However, one of the problems we facedDNA data storage researchers, is that if two or more files have the same name, PCR will inadvertently copy fragments of multiple data files. As a result, users must give their files very clear names.

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