Scientists used CRISPR to store a GIF inside the DNA of a living E. coli cell


Scientists used CRISPR to store a GIF inside the DNA of a living E. coli cell


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  1. Here is the news article about this [*Scientists have used CRISPR to store a GIF inside the DNA of a living cell*](https://www.alphr.com/bioscience/1006302/scientists-have-used-crispr-to-store-a-gif-inside-the-dna-of-a-living-cell).

    >When a bacteria is attacked by a virus, its cells produce enzymes to cut and process the virus’s genetic code. It does this to remember the invader, taking a portion of the virus’s genetic code and adding it to its own genome, like putting heads on pikes. As time passes, the bacteria’s genome grows, more genetic code from viruses are added, and more heads are stacked on the pike.

    >Shipman and his colleagues hacked this process using the CRISPR system. CRISPR-Cas9 is the protein in the bacteria’s immune system that cuts the virus’s genetic code, while Cas1 and Cas2 are the proteins that insert the viral DNA into the genome. Crucially, these proteins add the DNA in the order it is encountered, meaning the scientists could feed the E.Coli synthetic strands of DNA, specially designed with sequential information – which can then be decoded and turned into a picture, or a series of frames in an animation. For more information, read our full explainer on CRISPR.

  2. The information density of DNA is quite a few orders of magnitude greater than hard disks today IIRC. While it may seem like just a meme, this is actually a big deal when it comes to next-next-gen data storage.

    Aside from the obvious eugenics implications.

  3. Can someone eli5 how ATCG can be used to store information like a gif? Binary, I’m assuming? But how does atcg get transcribed into binary? (I know how atcg and codons work, I don’t know how binary information works)

  4. As cool as that is who’s paying for someone to essentially waste time doing this? Our tax dollars on a government grant?

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