SCIENTISTS DEVISE DNA-OF-THINGS, STORES .STLS IN 3D PRINTED OBJECTS

3D Printing Industry | 12/10/2019 | Tia Vialva
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A group of scientists at ETH Zürich has discovered a means of instilling 3D printed objects with their own DNA. Contributing to a field of research exploring DNA’s potential for data storage, the team demonstrated these capabilities by 3D printing a Stanford bunny model encoded with its own .stl.

Deemed the DNA-of-things (DoT), such technology has implications for the creation of more versatile, high-capacity information stores and protecting sensitive data. “It may also facilitate,” the research states, “the development of self-replicating machines.”

DNA - Sequence - Letters - Chemical - Building

DNA is composed of a sequence of four letters, each representing a chemical building block of life. For data storage, each of these letters (A, T, G and C) can be assigned to a piece of information, as in binary code, and sequenced to record a complex set of data. Applying these basic principles, another team from Boston-based technology startup Catalog, a company that specializes in such a process, recently reported that it had successfully encoded all 16 GB of Wikipedia into synthetic DNA.

As the world increasingly relies on data storage solutions, DNA is emerging as an alternative to flash drives and hard drives. One of the potential advantages is that DNA data could potentially occupy less space than these devices. I can also take on any shape. “If you think about any other storage technology, whether it’s tapes or discs or hard drives, they require a certain type of geometry. A tape is a tape. A disc is a disc,” explains Yaniv Erlich, ETH Zürich collaborator and chief science officer at DNA-based genealogy service MyHeritage.

DNA - THE - ONLY - STORAGE - TECHNOLOGY

“DNA IS THE ONLY STORAGE TECHNOLOGY THAT DOESN’T HAVE A DEFINED GEOMETRY ON THE MACROSCOPIC LEVEL.”

The Stanford bunny example given by...
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