The new disc drive for the human chromosome

Rewritable digital data storage in live cells via engineered control of recombination directionality

  1. Jerome Bonnet,
  2. Pakpoom Subsoontorn, and
  3. Drew Endy1

+ Author Affiliations


  1. Department of Bioengineering, Room 269B, Y2E2 Building, 473 Via Ortega, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
  1. Edited by David Baker, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and approved April 6, 2012 (received for review February 8, 2012)

Abstract

The use of synthetic biological systems in research, healthcare, and manufacturing often requires autonomous history-dependent behavior and therefore some form of engineered biological memory. For example, the study or reprogramming of aging, cancer, or development would benefit from genetically encoded counters capable of recording up to several hundred cell division or differentiation events. Although genetic material itself provides a natural data storage medium, tools that allow researchers to reliably and reversibly write information to DNA in vivo are lacking. Here, we demonstrate a re-writeable recombinase addressable data (RAD) module that reliably stores digital information within a chromosome.It is like having a small disc drive associated with your computer now we have that ability with living cells. For more information