Have you ever wondered whether you yourself can be a massive data storage centre. Did you know that one gram of your DNA can store the whole internet in it? Nature’s code for life is stored in DNA, but what if we could code anything we wanted into DNA? Scientists from Microsoft and the University of Washington have reached an early but important milestone in synthetic DNA storage by storing 200 megabytes of data on the molecular strands.
“We are using DNA as a storage medium for digital data and the reason why we are doing this is that DNA is so dense and we can store a massive amount of data in a tiny volume”, says the head scientist at Microsoft.
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Sounds surprising right? Basically that’s true. DNA serves as the natures hard drive. There’s no doubt about it, the world’s biggest technology firms are rushing to build data centres all over the globe. Microsoft wants to use synthetic DNA strands to store the world’s data. And that could make giant data centres obsolete.
DNA data storage expalined!
DNA strand consists of just four base chemicals: (A)denine, (C)ytonine, (G)uanine and (T)hymine. Normal computer data consists of 1s and 0s. So, back in April, execs at Microsoft purchased 10 million strands of synthetic DNA from a company called Twist Bioscience. The idea was to test the process of storing digital content on the organic material. Microsoft first translated the 1s and 0s into a digital DNA sequence of letters. It gave that sequence to Twist and asked for synthetic biology duplication. Twist did that and gave the organic material to Microsoft for testing. Researchers at Microsoft and the University of Washington found the data – about 200 megabytes of digital documents, artwork and a high-resolution music video from the band OK Go! – was intact and retrievable.
The scope of storing data in DNA is way more than you can imagine.
Scope of DNA digital storage
DNA is considered as the most compact and the most efficient data storage unit.
Let me get this straight. The internet traffic all over the world in 2016 was added upto 1.1 zetabytes. You will need 8.6 billion iPhones to store such massive amount of data. But here is the astonishing fact, theoritically you can store that in 1 gram of DNA.
You can now broadcast HD video in real-time to the world at any time.
You can literally store music in your DNA which can be extracted even after a thousand years.
Researches say that you can even trransfer the data in light speed using this method.
The whole internet can literally be stored in a shoebox.
This would completely eleminate the data crisis round the globe.
There would be no data centre. You can serve as the storing unit for massive amount of data.
The scope of this is way beyond you can imagine.But, the first question that comes to one’s mind is:
Can your brain access the data when the data is in your DNA?
Unfortunately, the answer is NO. The reason is simple, the brain is basically works on many electrical sigmals it recieves.So, it will not be able to decrypt the information stored.
But here is the good news, A few researches say that it could be possible if we feed a software into our DNA that decry[pts the data and encodes into a form that the human brain can interpret.
Still, This is going to be one of the greatest revolution in the field of bio-informatics.