Preserving Our Digital Legacy: An Introduction to DNA Data Storage

Library Content Type:
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Focus Areas:

This paper presents DNA data storage fundamentals in an accessible way for both technically curious readers not directly involved in computing or biological domains and for IT business, computer science or electrical engineering readers interested in the benefits, technical issues, and cost of ownership of this storage medium. It describes:

  • The unprecedented demand to store and mine data and the emerging need for a new archival storage tier to meet this demand. (Sections 1 and 2)
  • How DNA data storage can meet the needs of this emerging tier. (Section 3)
  • The DNA data storage pipeline (i.e., the process of converting digital data into DNA, storing it, and reading it back) and the economics of DNA data storage. (Sections 4 to 6)
  • The underlying technologies used for DNA data storage. (Sections 7-10)

The Alliance is currently working on a second document that will describe the markets and use-cases for DNA-based storage. It will also examine, how to bridge the gap from where DNA data storage technology is now to the point of its commercial viability and widespread use. We heartily encourage companies and institutions intrigued by the challenges of storage scaling to join our work to advance this transformational approach. If you wish to get involved or just get more information, please visit, or contact us at