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All the world's data could fit into the volume of a chocolate bar.

Pierre Crozet Molecular biology specialist, Sorbonne University

Biomemory is a startup founded by Sorbonne University’s Stéphane Lemaire and Pierre Crozet, molecular biology specialists at its Computational and Quantitative Biology Laboratory. Their research responds to a crucial issue in modern society: the storage of global data. Their solution is DNA storage, an innovative technology with the potential for major societal impact.

In a world-first for a public institution, Lemaire and Crozet have already successfully encoded two major historical documents onto DNA: the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 and the Declaration of the Rights of Women and of the Citizen by Olympe de Gouges.

Their DNA storage works by transforming binary numerical data into letters corresponding to the four bricks of DNA. This sequence is then synthesized on DNA fragments that are stored in a stainless steel capsule (pictured.) Each capsule can contain a quantity of DNA corresponding to 5000 TB of digital data.

When the original digital information needs to be recovered, the DNA is converted back into binary data.

As Pierre Crozet notes, “We believe that DNA storage is the only reasonable technology to replace current archival media. It can be stored for hundreds of thousands of years without any energy input.”

Lemaire and Crozet’s technology has been patented in partnership with Sorbonne University, the CNRS and Satt Lutech, and their start-up Biomemory was founded in 2021. This exciting project is a clear example of how investing in fundamental research, in this case in biology, can lead to the creation of innovative technology with positive real-world impact.

Researcher/institutions: Stéphane Lemaire and Pierre Crozet, Sorbonne University