Believe it or not, the answer to “where should I keep this?” is inside yourself. Researchers realized the best way to store large amounts of digital data is inside your genes #todaymagic
As the digital universe is expected to hit 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, scientists from University of Washington have found an ingenous way to keep photo, video and more safe, over a long period of time – DNA. DNA molecules can store information millions of times more compactly than flash drives, hard drives, optical media, etc. So why not use them to encode digital media? A team of computer scientists and electrical engineers from UW encoded four figital photos in ““nucleotide sequences of synthetic DNA snippets” and managed to decode them afterwards, without losing data.
“Life has produced this fantastic molecule called DNA that efficiently stores all kinds of information about your genes and how a living system works — it’s very, very compact and very durable,” said co-author Luis Ceze. “We’re essentially repurposing it to store digital data — pictures, videos, documents — in a manageable way for hundreds or thousands of years.”
This incredible finding means that DNA could reduce the space needed to store digital data “that today would fill a Walmart Supercenter down to the size of a sugar cube”!
The test was done in collaboration with Microsoft and although it is a costly endeavour, but there’s “no technical barrier to achieving those gains if the right incentives are in place”.