The process conceptually is straightforward. As DNA consists of four bases, adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C) and thymine (T), an algorithm can be used to convert digital information of ones and zeroes into sequences of these DNA bases called oligos.
The researchers first detail how they were able to encode a “Stanford Bunny” with information needed to reproduce itself, loosely mimicking biology.
The ‘bunny’ is a common 3D test model used in computer graphics. “First we compressed the binary stereolithography (stl) file of the bunny from 100kB to 45kB. Next, we used DNA Fountain [encoding protocol] to encode the file in 12,000 DNA oligo-nucleotides (oligos),” the paper states.