LIFE IS PEOPLE #94 Nick Lambert

HUGE S/O to @nicklambert tonight’s conversation was really inspiring thanks as ever to @dirvine @Ross and all Maidsafe Troon crew with every step the ERA of the CREATIVE is RISING

Nick started his working life with blue chips IBM and Sanmina in project management roles before moving into senior marking positions with a variety of SMEs. Nick is passionate about decentralisation and data privacy and has been privileged to co author conference papers on the subject. He has a BA in Business Information Systems and an MSc in Marketing and manages all non technical aspects of MaidSafe including; business planning and strategy, marketing, PR and intellectual property. In his spare time, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, karate and going to the gym.

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DNA Storage
The code
Our group developed a code to translate the zeroes and ones that make up digital files into As, Cs, Gs and Ts — the letters that correspond to the basic components of DNA. It might not seem like such a hard thing to do, but we had to use some other rules to make sure the experiment would work, such as requiring that the new, alphabetic code would not have any repeats. Repeating letters in the code could confuse the machines that write and read DNA. We also had to work out how to break each message into many pieces (since humans can only reliably create DNA fragments about 200 letters long), sort them out and put them back together again when they are read. We had to do all this in a manner that could recover the information perfectly, even when there were inevitable writing and reading errors.

This coded information can be fed into DNA synthesis machines, which transforms it into the physical material in much the same way an inkjet printer lays down ink on paper. What you get in the end is an almost imperceptible smidgen of dust, which itself contains thousands of DNA copies of the encoded files. Because DNA is so robust, the material will last for many thousands of years if it is kept safe, dry and cool. DNA sequencing machines can be used to read the files back.


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