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DNA is the future of digital data storage

 

Introduction

How long do you think a storage device that you are using is capable of storing the data?Most storage device manufactures say that it is around 10 years.If you are using storage device just to store some entertainment media,it is fine,what about the colleges and universities,they can’t keep on replacing their hard drives every 10 years.Although size of the storage devices has reduced dramatically in last decade,hunger for still smaller storage devices hasn’t stopped.Apart from these problems the major problem we are facing today is security of storage devices.What if we think of technology to overcome these problems,there comes DNA.

DNA to replace data storage devices in future.Key advantages of storing data in DNA

  • They last hundreds of thousands of years.                                                                                                                                                 Doesn’t that sound cool,yes Yaniv Erlich,a professor at columbia said that “DNA won’t degrade over time like cassette tapes and CDs, and it won’t become obsolete — if it does, we have bigger problems”.Scientists are able to recover DNA of about 45000 years old.So if we data in data we can retrieve after a long time if needed.
  • 455 exabytes of data can be stored in a gram of DNA.                                                                                                                                yes DNA has the capacity to store huge amount of data in small space.Castillo states that all the information in the entire Internet could be located in a device which is lesser than unit cubic inch.So now you can imagine how handy it will be store data for Facebook,Google and many others.
  • Most secure way of transferring data.                                                                                                                                                               Since DNA is not visible to human naked eye we can’t easily destroy the data.So this becomes most secured way of storage of data.
  • Works with 1/M part of power.                                                                                                                                                                                    If we start storing and retrieving the data from DNA then the power consumption will million times small compared to want our personal computer consumes today to do same work.
  • Increased data writing and retrieving speed.                                                                                                                                                          In DNA data is stored in non linear structure unlike most of the storage devices where data is stored in linear fashion.This allows us to write or retrieve data bidirectionally.

In spite of all this advantages why we aren’t using DNA

  • Storage of data using DNA is a recent development in the research field their it much deeper,thorough research to be done before these storage devices hit the commercial market.
  • Cost associated with synthesizing and sequencing of DNA if way too high.But this cost is expected to reduce exponentially in the upcoming years.
  • We are lacking with well equipped laboratories to perform operations on DNA.

Recent developments in the field

  • Microsoft says that it is planning to use DNA for cloud data storage by the end of this decade.

Conclusion

Although DNA is an effective method for storing of data we might still require time before we see DNA storage devices commercially.So lets wait patiently before that happens.We hope that happens quick in the near future.

Read about it more here from Science mag here.

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