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A Critical Review of Emily Mullin, 2017, ‘scientists Have Managed to Put a Gif Inside a Living Organism's Dna’

Autor:   •  February 18, 2018  •  Article Review  •  456 Words (2 Pages)  •  360 Views

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A Critical Review of Emily Mullin, 2017, ‘Scientists have managed to put a GIF inside a living organism's DNA’, http://www.businessinsider.com/gif-into-dna-bacteria-harvard-2017-7

By Yoga Kynantoro

The main purpose of this article is to inform the reader about the promise of using DNA as a data storage and the progress of this research as of now. The author, Emily Mullin, is addressing the key question that is the possibility to keep digital information on us, even embedded on our skin, at all times.

From this article we know that the Harvard researchers used the gene-editing system CRISPR to insert short animated image, GIF, and converted individual pixels of each image to nucleotides of Escherichia Coli bacteria. Then the researchers were able to retrieve the image with 90 percent accuracy.

So far, much of the research on this matter use synthetic DNA made by the scientists as a medium. Compared to the synthetic DNA, the amount of information in the GIF that has been successfully encoded into the bacteria is relatively small. It’s more challenging to upload the data into living cells than synthesized DNA because living cells are constantly moving, changing, dividing and dying off, unlike synthesized DNA.

The conclusions in this article presented by the author are the mean of storing digital data into DNA is promising way of storage in the modern world in which digital data increasingly generated. This way of storage also deemed as a compact and enduring way of storing the information.

The main problem of this research, as the author stated, is the difficulty of uploading the information to living cells than to synthesized DNA. The amount of information of the GIF that have been uploaded to the bacteria is relatively small compared to amount of information that the scientists have been able to encode into synthesized DNA.

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