Our DNA structure is basically a hard drive which contains all the genetic information that offers us the shape of human beings. DNA stores huge amounts of information that is never forgotten, never destroyed and never misused.
A team of researchers has declared they are one step closer to a completely revolutionary technology that could safely store digital data for thousands of years, by putting in on microscopic strands of DNA. Recent reports have demonstrated that information can be encapsulated on DNA structures, equaling 2000 years in storage with no errors after the data is retrieved and decoded.
The passage of centuries can easily be simulated by embedding the data-carrying DNA in spheres of silica and ultimately heating them to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to further leave them at that temperature for a week.
Two millennia of information can be stored at 50 degrees and after the data is retrieved and decoded there you have it, complete and error free.
The researchers will offer a presentation of their innovative work today, at the 250th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Society.
This is nevertheless a highly welcomed finding, as digital technology has seen an explosion in the amount of information available at any given moment. All the new techniques experts manage to develop in order to preserve even small parts of our digital universe, need to be extremely small and highly capacitive. DNA is the perfect structure designed to store giant amounts of information in infinitely small structures.
DNA can replace hard drives, as it has two extremely important advantages, namely size and durability. As experts state, an external hard drive equal to the size of a paperback book could back up no more than 5 terabytes of information which would last for only 50 years. On the other hand, a fraction of an ounce of DNA is designed to store more than 300.00 terabytes. Furthermore, DNA from hundreds of thousands of years ago can still be sequenced today.
Scientists are presently trying to use DNA in order to save enormous amounts of digital data for a time when we will not be here anymore. Encapsulated DNA can preserve information for at least 2.000 years but a filing system must be developed in order to make it easier to navigate.
The drawback of this new technology is that it’s extremely expensive. To encode and save just a few megabytes of data you would have to spend thousands of dollars. So we will stick to our hard drives at least for the recent years to come, as common consumers won’t have the chance to buy DNA based hard drives anytime soon.
Image Source: futurism.com