Scientists inserted Image and Gif into DNA of Bacteria

Published Date : Jul 13, 2017

A graphics interchange format (GIF) and image and have been inserted into a DNA by storing information through units of inheritance. For this experiment, a team from the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts used a picture of a human palm and five frames of the horse, which was captured by Eadweard Muybridge in the late 19th century. Using Crispr, a genome editing tool, the team of US scientists encoded a gif – five frames of a horse galloping – in the DNA of bacteria. They then sequenced the DNA of the bacteria to retrieve the image and the gif, which indicated that the bacteria had incorporated the data as intended.

Team to Use Technique to Create Molecular Recorders

For inserting this information into the genomes of the microbes, the scientists transferred the gif and the image onto nucleotides, which are to be the building blocks of DNA, generating a code associated with individual pixels of each image. After this, they made use of the Crispr platform, in which two strands of proteins are employed to encode genetic code in the DNA of target cells. While for the formation of the gif, sequences were carried over five days, frame-by-frame, to the cells of bacteria. Instead of just one, information was spread across the genomes of various bacteria.

During this experiment, the team was able to attain 90% accuracy and the team wants to further use this technique to develop “molecular recorders”. According to the team, these cells can encode data about the activities happening in the cell and in the cell environment by feeding that data into their own genome.