Researchers at the University of California have discovered a new system to encode digital information within DNA. According to the researchers, this method relies on length of the fragments obtained by the partial restriction digest rather than the actual content of nucleotide sequence, a medical journal has reported.

"What we developed is a method to encode a message in DNA in a way that does not require an expensive sequencing machine. The decoding still requires a wet lab procedure, but the experimental procedure is significantly easier," said lead researcher Prof Stefano Lonardi.

The human genome consists of the equivalent of approximately 750 MB of data, a significant amount of storage space. However, only about three percent of DNA goes into composing the more than 22,000 genes that make us what we are. The remaining 97% leaves room to encode information in a genome, allowing the information to be preserved as well as replicated in perpetuity.

Given the size of the DNA fragments, one could store a large amount of information in a very small space.  By storing messages within DNA, organisations can "tag" objects to verify authenticity, as well as to inconspicuously send data to a specific destination, according to the researchers.  "Already there are several companies using DNA to tag objects that they certify to be original and which then can be very difficult to counterfeit," Prof Lonardi wrote in the another Medical Society's journal.