Usona Esperantisto № 2020:4 (jul-aug)

La mirinda sorĉisto de Oz … in DNA?

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On July 13th, Science Daily reported a research breakthrough at the University of Texas, Austin:

A team of interdisciplinary researchers has discovered a new technique to store in DNA information […] with unprecedented accuracy and efficiency. The technique harnesses the information-storage capacity of intertwined strands of DNA to encode and retrieve information in a way that is both durable and compact.

And what information did they store as their first test? An Esperanto translation of The Wizard of Oz, of course.

“Humans are creating information at exponentially higher rates than we used to, contributing to the need for a way to store more information efficiently and in a way that will last a long time,” says one of the study’s authors. Naturally, we’ll need a way to efficiently retrieve our translations of L. Frank Baum, too.

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Unfortunately, the article doesn’t specify whether the authors used the Amos or Broadribb translations. In any case, we may soon be able to retrieve these classics from microscopic DNA drives, or splice them into the genomes of cockroaches to make them capable of surviving global thermonuclear war.

For now, the works remain accesible to the public only through low-tech storage devices like floating-gate MOSFETs, magneto/optical discs, and something called “paper.”