An Irish synbio start-up called Helixworks is the first company in the world to offer DNA data storage to the masses on Amazon.
If we are to preserve our legacy as a species in thousands, or even millions of years’ time, our current method of data storage on existing hard drives is simply not going to cut it, with many commercially available solid-state drives lasting decades at the most.
One alternative, revealed this year, showed the possibility of storing huge amounts of data on nanostructured glass in five dimensions, with a lifespan of nearly 14bn years.
But what if we could store data in the very fabric of our being: our DNA?
The exciting field of data storage has seen huge sums of money pumped into researching how we can transfer data into DNA from research bodies, right up to major corporations like Microsoft, which purchased 10m strands of DNA to develop new methods of storage earlier this year.
Now, in what could be a major breakthrough for the field, an Ireland-based start-up called Helixworks announced what it claims to be the first commercially available DNA data storage that can be purchased straight from Amazon.
Helixworks suggests DNADrive could be used “to store a small photograph, a poem, a love letter, a eulogy for a loved one, or a bitcoin wallet”.
Another product revealed by the company at the IndieBio event was GeneSlice, whereby researchers or biotech enthusiasts can use synthesised double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) for €19 per 750 base pair.
Words by Colm Gorey