Big Data to DNA

Goodbye Silicon, Hello DNA. The Future of Data Storage?

DNA Researchers have successfully encoded MP3s, text files and JPEGs into DNA files, claiming that the biomolecular material will become an “attractive storage medium” in just a few decades.

DNA is, as many of you already know, the crucial blueprints of our lives, and as the amount of digital information grows in the world (about three zettabytes’ worth (that’s 3000 billion billion bytes)), reliable long-term storage is becoming a major problem. And the solution could well be DNA storage, with the capability to hold information from a million CDs in a space no bigger than your little finger, and reliably store it without data loss for centuries.

The process involved converting the ones and zeroes of digital information into the four-letter alphabet of DNA code (A, T, G and C). That code was used to create strands of synthetic DNA. Then machines “read” the DNA molecules and recovered the encoded information. That reading process currently takes two weeks; but technological advances are driving the time down. Source: EMBL-EBI

Jason England