Is DNA coding your data the future of stored information?



Recently on Spectrum, Scientists from Harvard University have successfully converted a 53,000 word book into a single strand of DNA. The success of the conversion will allow data to be stored in the guise of a DNA strand; DNA can hold more information per cubic millimeter than certain flash memory technology. Scientists claim that the cycle of conversion, from coding to decoding, would prove to be an expensive process initially but those needing a large quantity of data might find the means to make this technology more affordable in the future.

Imagine. Universities around the globe can store centuries of science data. Governments can convert the Library of Congress into a single bit of memory. Corporate America can officially go green.

While the obvious answer to this question would suggest that universities, large corporate companies and governments would jump on the chance to operate this piece of tech, I wonder what smaller possibilities lay ahead for DNA medium storage.

For starters, imagine the possibilities this DNA storage technology could be used for. I could use this data storage for music and jpeg files that easily consume my laptop’s memory space. Companies like Apple and Microsoft could use this technology to increase memory storage on the already infinite amount of space on an iPod or Xbox console. Imagine if Facebook or Twitter got their hands on this kind of tech. There is not a social media marketing company on the planet that wouldn’t use this.

I believe that we could send all of our knowledge out into the universe in the form of a DNA strand message in a bottle. We could launch the thing into a black hole and see if it comes out on the other side somewhere else in the universe. While I am no physics professor or an expert on quantum mechanics, I have seen Star Wars and Star Trek and I can imagine the possibilities. What is your take on this technology? What would you use it for?

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“DNA” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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