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Scientists have inserted a GIF into the DNA of living bacteria, bringing us one step closer to one day embedding information in our own skin.Using DNA to store data isn’t new, but until now the data was stored in synthetic — not living — DNA.

Storing information in living DNA is more difficult because the cells are always changing.

In a paper published today in the journal Nature, scientists took advantage of bacteria’s natural defense system to embed a picture of a hand and a five-frame clip from Eadweard Muybridge’s Human and Animal Locomotion into E.

coli bacteria.

They reconstructed the image perfectly, and the video with 90 percent accuracy.The technique takes advantage of the gene-editing system CRISPR.

When viruses attack bacteria, the bacteria use this defense mechanism to cut parts of the virus’s DNA and paste them inside its own DNA.

This essentially makes the virus DNA part of the bacteria cell.

Those sequences serve as a memory of the viral invasion, so that the cell can go out and cut up future versions of that virus if it’s attacked again.

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