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        NOVA Next | The Codes of Modern Life

        Learn how scientists are using Reed-Solomon codes in the development of DNA data storage, in this NOVA Next article. In 1960, Irving Reed and Gustave Solomon introduced a group of error-correction codes now known as Reed-Solomon codes. The family of algorithms adds just the right amount of redundancy to data files to correct for errors. Today, the codes can be found reducing errors in phone calls, hard drives, and even in data sent from the New Horizons spacecraft. Reed-Solomon codes can be used in a promising storage medium – DNA– which could store digital data for millennia without degradation. However, some major hurdles, such as cost, still need to be surmounted before DNA can become a viable digital data storage option. This resource is part of the NOVA Next Collection.

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