22 Oct 1900: Jossy Sayir: “Information Storage on DNA”

22 October 1900, LR5, Cambridge University Engineering Dept.

Dr Jossy Sayir, a lecturer and researcher at Robinson College, Cambridge, will address the society on his research. It promises to be a most entertaining and engaging lecture.Graphic with DNA helix and binary data

There is a lot of digital information in the world — about three zettabytes’ worth (that’s 3000 billion billion bytes) — and the constant influx of new digital content poses a real challenge for archivists. Hard disks are expensive and require a constant supply of electricity, while even the best ‘no-power’ archiving materials such as magnetic tape degrade within a decade. One solution is to use DNA: a compact, robust molecule, as a storage medium. We call this DNA storage. The talk will introduce the technology for writing and reading DNA, cover data preparation and retrieval. It will also include an activity where participants will get to encode and decode their own messages into DNA in the form of coloured Lego pieces.