Scientists at the University of California, Irvine, have developed a new method to compress genomic data and have demonstrated in a recent paper that the approach can convert a human genome into an e-mailable attachment.

To arrive at their results, the scientists at Irvine's department of computer science and the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics used a series of compression techniques that enabled them to reduce James Watson's genome from around 3 gigabytes to 4 megabytes, which they say made the data "small enough to be sent as an e-mail attachment."

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