So much data to store: Can DNA solve our problem?

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Many pundits predict it’s just a matter of time till DNA pips magnetic tape as the ultimate way to store data. It’s compact, efficient and resilient. After all, it has been tweaked over billions of years into the perfect repository for genetic information. It will never become obsolete, because as long as there is life on Earth, we will be interested in decoding DNA. “Nature has optimised the format,” says Twist Bioscience’s chief technology officer Bill Peck.

The entire human genome, a code of three billion DNA base pairs, or in data speak, 3,000 megabytes, fits into a package that is invisible to the naked eye – the cell’s nucleus. A gram of DNA — the size of a drop of water on your fingertip — can store at least the equivalent of 233 computer hard drives weighing more than 150 kilograms. To store the all the genetic information in a human body — 150 zettabytes — on tape or hard drives, you’d need a facility covering thousands, if not millions of square feet.

It’s not far-fetched to imagine all-in-one DNA data systems, in which the binary data are fed in at one end, synthesised into DNA and stored, then extracted, sequenced and sent out the other end as binary data once again.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: How DNA will solve our data storage problem

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