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Lunar Library to Include Photos, Books Stored in DNA

By October 3, 2018No Comments

People who have submitted photos to the #MemoriesInDNA project have selected images of family members, favorite places and tasty food that will be preserved for years in the form of synthetic DNA. Now this collection — which currently contains more than 3,000 images and is still growing — will be headed to the final frontier: space.

The Arch Mission Foundation, which creates archives that can survive for a long time in space, announced today that it will be partnering with researchers at the University of Washington, Microsoft and Twist Bioscience to include media stored in DNA in its newest shipment, which is destined to go to the moon in less than two years.

Researchers at the Molecular Information Systems Lab at the University of Washington and Microsoft plan to provide both the #MemoriesInDNA project and a DNA archive of e-books for this mission. The Arch Mission Foundation’s Lunar Library will also include instructions for how to sequence DNA and how to access the contents of the archive.

To prepare the DNA for its life in space, the researchers have been developing new methods to package and protect the information it stores.

“Sending DNA into space is a great opportunity for us to make our storage system more robust,” said Luis Ceze, a professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “How can we protect the DNA so that it will still be readable thousands of years into the future?”