Twist Bioscience, an American company accelerating science and innovation through DNA synthesis, just struck a contract with Microsoft and the University of Washington to encode information on synthetic genes. That’s, they will make synthetic DNA to store digital data.

Digital data needs to be stored on media re-encoded from time to time. But as the quantity of data registered is almost doubling every two years, new methods for long-term and secure storage are badly needed.

Twist Bioscience researchers have discovered new ways to stuff digital information – including in our DNA (a single gram of DNA can store one trillion gigabytes – almost a zettabyte – of digital data.

Indeed, according to Harvard scientists, about 700 terabytes can be stored in our genes, thus the new technology presents an incredible way to keep a lot of data in a small amount of space for a really long time. The test phase has demonstrated that it was possible to encode and recover 100 percent of the digital data from synthetic, silicon-based DNA.

Researchers are still testing out the idea of data storage in DNA, and a commercially viable product isn’t likely to be ready for a couple of years. However, no doubt that the new era is coming. In fact, Microsoft Corp. has agreed to purchase ten million long oligonucleotides from Twist Bioscience to encode digital data and store it for several thousand years.

Twist Bioscience is a company accelerating science and innovation through rapid, high-quality DNA synthesis. The company has developed a proprietary semiconductor-based synthetic DNA manufacturing process featuring a 10,000-well silicon platform capable of producing synthetic biology tools, including genes, oligonucleotide pools and variant libraries. The cost of genetic sequencing has also plummeted, going from $2.7 billion to map out just one whole human genome in 2003 to now the ability to pull up your entire genome on your smartphone for under $1,000.

The new technology presents an interesting way to keep a lot of data in a small amount of space for a really long time.