DNA

Newest flash drive in town; DNA

How many times do you run with problems of memory space in your electronic devices?

Every week I need to upload my pictures of my phone to the cloud or otherwise I will run out of space to do anything. It is clear that humanity has a big problem with data storage. However, there is a simple solution for all of that. Something every living thing is made of; DNA!!!

According to an article published on Science,  DNA could store all of the world’s data in one room. Apparently, 215 million gigabytes can be incorporated into one gram of DNA. Besides that high storage capacity, it has many other advantages, such as durability. DNA, as long as it is kept cold, it can last thousands and thousand of years.

The first time DNA was used for this purpose was in 2012, when George Church, a geneticist from Harvard, encoded a whole book written by himself. So how does this work you might be asking? An inkjet printer embeds small synthesized DNA fragments onto a small chip. That small chip with DNA sequences can then be further converted into the canonical binary code, which in turn can be encoded again onto DNA. Basically, to ‘open’ the book encoded on DNA, you would have to sequence it.

Few drawbacks from this technology is that this is still a expensive way to store information. However, updates have been seen regarding this storage machinery lately. Microsoft has announced that they will be using the genetic code as storage in the near future in an article published by MIT .

Another interesting example of using DNA as storage device comes from the world of music. The group OK Go has recorded their album using this technology. How would you listen to it? You would have to buy a vial containing the album encoded in DNA, dissolve it, and then send it for sequencing. After being sequenced, you will have to convert that sequence into music files. Pretty cool right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *