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Arch Mission partners with Microsoft, University of Washington and Twist to send DNA library to moon

27 Sep 2018, 17:59 UTC
Arch Mission partners with Microsoft, University of Washington and Twist to send DNA library to moon
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An artist’s conception shows Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander on the lunar surface. (Astrobotic Illustration)
DNA-based data storage systems have been proposed as a theoretical way to preserve information for millennia on the moon, but the idea isn’t so theoretical anymore.
The Arch Mission Foundation says it’s partnering with Microsoft, the University of Washington and Twist Bioscience to send an archive of 10,000 crowdsourced images, the full text of 20 books and other information on Astrobotic’s 2020 mission to the moon.
All of the data for those files will be encoded in strands of synthetic DNA that could easily fit within a tiny glass bead. The Microsoft-UW-Twist team has already demonstrated how the method can be used to store and retrieve information, including an OK Go music video.
“With DNA, nature really nailed information storage at the molecular scale,” Luis Ceze, a computer scientist at UW’s Molecular Information Systems Lab, said today in a news release. “Our goal at MISL is to explore is to explore how to build revolutionary systems around it.”

The newly announced special collection builds on Arch Mission’s existing partnership with Astrobotic on a different type of laser-etched Lunar Library. It also builds on a UW project called ...

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