Okay, we realize that the PR angle on this one is a bit of a stretch, but we’re not sure whether we think this is totally awesome or extremely creepy, and we thought the public might relate to our quandry (see what we did there?). Plus, it’s Friday, and cool stories are cooler on Fridays. Fact.
The plan to try and store information in DNA was hatched (as so many weird and wonderful ideas are) while Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were discussing a problem over a beer.
The institute where they work is responsible for storing and maintaining a huge database of genetic information, including many thousands of genes from humans, corn, pufferfish…you name it. Storing all of that ever-compounding data on hard drives was becoming financially problematic.
“The data we’re being asked to be guardians of is growing exponentially,” Goldman told NPR. “But our budgets are not growing exponentially.”
Then it occurred to them: