The software company is collecting 10,000 selfies from the public that it will encode in DNA so it can work out how to search for them inside the molecules.
Why selfies? That’s a gimmick. (Still, go ahead: send a snapshot to MemoriesInDNA.com and it may be turned into DNA.) But with the 10,000 images, it will encode into DNA a kind of picture database that it will use to develop new search techniques.
DNA image search: Microsoft aims to search for and classify images while they’re in DNA form. That, it says, is possible because certain DNA letters stick to others: a search query for “red car” coded into DNA should stick to bits of DNA that contains such an image. But it still needs to do that bit.
Biotechnology and health
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
A biotech company says it put dopamine-making cells into people’s brains
The experiment to treat Parkinson’s is a critical early test of stem cells’ potential to tackle serious disease.
Tiny faux organs could crack the mystery of menstruation
Researchers are using organoids to unlock one of the human body’s most mysterious—and miraculous—processes.
How AI can help us understand how cells work—and help cure diseases
A virtual cell modeling system, powered by AI, will lead to breakthroughs in our understanding of diseases, argue the cofounders of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.