DNA Strands – The Ultimate Storage Devices
The researchers at Harvard have successfully managed to pack up a massive amount of data (as large as 700 terabytes ) in a single gram of DNA . So to say, the technology will be up soon to record and store the very existence of the humans .
How often have you seen a 10 TB Hard Disk ?? Most of you would ask – “Does it even exist ?” , some would say -“Very Rare!”, and the others would simply laugh it off. Well, how about this – Some of the Bioengineers and Geneticists at the Harvard’s Wyss Institute have successfully managed to pack up 5.5 petabits (approximately 700 Terabytes) of data into a single gram of DNA.
This Head Spinning advancement in the technology was brought up by two brainstormers – George Church and Sri Kosuri. The work carried out by Church and Kosuri proved to be a huge leap in the development of this technology, breaking the previous record for DNA data density by a thousand times.
HOWZ HOW :
The researchers had kept a hand busy for the development of such a technology for a long time. It was only when they let off the conventional storage techniques on Magnetic tapes, and started realizing the four bases (namely- Adenine , Guanine , Cytosine, Thymine) of the DNA as a potential agent for representing data . Each of these bases represents either 0 or 1 (T and G =1 & A and C =0). The encoding is implemented by the combination of these four bases. Each DNA strand is capable of storing 96 bits of data .
Decoding the information simply requires a sequential arrangement of the DNA to scan the bases. Making the sequencing more efficient is the presence of a 19 bit memory address block in each strand. The address block is further utilized in traversing from one node(DNA strand) to another .
Storing data in the DNA strands has some outstanding advantages :
- The Digital data stored has a extremely long life(practically Immortal) if preserved correctly.
- Can store massive amount of data in a negligible space, putting the terabytes from pocket to fingertips.
In a world of today where a Terabyte is no bigger than your palm, storing data in the microscopic DNA is giving the technology multi-level jump. With such a technology in existence the researchers have already started to fantasize about encoding the complete ‘Life’ of the very human race. Till now the dream of recording ‘everything’ would always flag an error- “Not Feasible”. With biological storage coming into the play, the scenario is undoubtedly sure to turn the table round.
Born and brought up in Gorakhpur, U.P , presently persuing my graduation at Assam University, silchar , Asam. My strength is turning technical mumbo-jumbo into easy to understand language. This is also my interest and passion and sums up what is at the heart of my ability to be the kind of technical writer you need.