New dynamic structures store and retrieve information from DNA

A team led by researchers from the Newcastle University School of Computing has created new dynamic DNA data structures.

The scientists presented how they implemented in vitro stack data structures using DNA polymers. The new DNA chemical reaction system, designed as a stack, can record combinations of two different DNA signals (0s and 1s), reverse the order of the signals into solution, and then re-record.

A stack is a linear data structure that operates in a specific order: operations are performed on it, it stores and retrieves data. It does this by constructing and truncating DNA polymers from individual ssDNA strands.

Such a stack data structure could eventually be embedded in an in vivo context for storing RNA messengers and changing the temporal order of the translational response, among other applications.

Information processing has a profound impact on the environment. For example, digital technologies emit more pollution than the aviation industry. The seven thousand largest data centers in the world consume about 2% of the world’s electricity. However, DNA is an excellent storage medium as well as a renewable and sustainable resource.

Natalio Krasnogor, professor at the School of Computer Science, University of Newcastle.

The experimental DNA stack system proves that polymerizing DNA chemistry can be used as a dynamic data structure to store two types of DNA signals.

Although more research is needed to determine the best way to archive and access DNA-based data. However, the study highlights the tremendous potential of this technology and how it can help meet rapidly growing data needs.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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