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Digital data can be stored in DNA


Posted on Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 | Comment icon 16 comments


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
Just a single gram of DNA is capable of storing data with the capacity of half a million DVDs.

Researchers have been making huge strides in the use of DNA as a digital storage medium. Last year, a team at Harvard Medical School succeeded in storing the contents of a book in DNA at a density of 700 terabits per gram. Now another team at the European Bioinformatics Institute has managed to improve upon this by increasing the storage density to 2.2 petabytes per gram.

It isn't clear exactly how this technology will be used or whether it is practical as a replacement for conventional storage mediums. For one thing, data stored on DNA cannot be changed once written and it can only be accessed sequentially like an old-style magnetic cassette tape. The incredible capacities that are possible however make it an avenue worth investigating.

"The team first translated written words or other data into a standard binary code of 0s and 1s, and then converted this to a trinary code of 0s, 1s, and 2s - a step needed to help prevent the introduction of errors."

  View: Full article |  Source: Wired

  Discuss: View comments (16)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Timonthy on 29 January, 2013, 14:02
So the contents of a book would be in the range of kB to MB (.txt file or otherwise) So they would be storing the information in the range of something like 1/2.000889e^-12 to 1/2.0489106e^-9 grams of DNA. This is cool but I'll be happy with the first big heavy 1 Petabyte HDD.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Timonthy on 29 January, 2013, 14:11
Only thing is right now you would have to watch it in sequence. A slight step backwards having to fast forward for a couple of years to get to your favorite movie!
Comment icon #9 Posted by HuntrSThompsun on 29 January, 2013, 14:29
A walking "red box" with one crazy porn collection
Comment icon #10 Posted by ancient astronaut on 29 January, 2013, 14:35
So I can carry around my movie collection with me?? and what about blue rays?? are they compatible with dna too???
Comment icon #11 Posted by Timonthy on 29 January, 2013, 14:47
Well a 4TB HDD will hold about 80 full HD movies (@~50GB each) ripped straight from Blu-ray disks without compression. So you could easily carry around your whole collection already...
Comment icon #12 Posted by pallidin on 29 January, 2013, 20:33
"DNA computing storage", huh? I guess that will bring new meaning to the term "computer virus"
Comment icon #13 Posted by stevemagegod on 30 January, 2013, 2:53
I guess this is what they mean by it must be in the DNA.
Comment icon #14 Posted by King Fluffs on 30 January, 2013, 7:04
Wow.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 30 January, 2013, 8:17
that is very cool.
Comment icon #16 Posted by quillius on 30 January, 2013, 13:51
this sums it up


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