Scientists at Harvard Medical School have created the first-ever book to be written in DNA. And while that book is not exactly a potboiler -- it's "Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves in DNA" by George Church and Ed Regis -- there are 17 billion copies of it.
How many books is 17 billion? More than "50 Shades of Grey," "Harry Potter," "The Da Vinci Code," "The Hunger Games," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," the Bible and the works of Charles Dickens and the next hundred-plus most popular books in the world combined -- times three.
Time Magazine reports that Church and his colleague Sriram Kosuri created the DNA-encoded book, in part, to demonstrate how efficient DNA is -- how much information its double helix strands can contain.
"By copying the 53,000 word book (alongside 11 jpeg images and a computer program) they’ve managed to squeeze a thousand times more data than ever previously encoded into strands of DNA, as reported in the August 17 issue of the journal Science," writes Time Magazine's Kharunya Paramaguru. One gram of DNA can hold 455 billion gigabytes; four grams could theoretically contain a year's worth of the entire world's data.