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  5. [HOT] : DNA may soon become the world’s smallest hard drive

[HOT] : DNA may soon become the world’s smallest hard drive



[HOT] : DNA may soon become the world’s smallest hard drive


Today’s world transmits more data than ever before in history. This figure is expected to increase nearly six-fold between 2020 and 2025. Last year the world generated 33 zettabytes of data and by 2025 that number could reach 175 zettabytes, far exceeding the growth rate of facilities for store it. One zettabyte equals one trillion gigabytes of data. There will also be a significant increase in the demand for energy to operate and maintain these facilities. What will happen next? How will this demand for data storage be met? This calls for new solutions.

An interesting possibility to meet this storage demand lies in the human body. Since the 1950s, scientists have debated the possibility of using DNA as a data storage medium. At first, the suggestion might seem a bit strange, but it is a possibility.

DNA can be described as the molecule that stores all of the genetic instructions needed to form every living organism. “That’s a lot of information, and we have a copy of all that information in every cell in our body,” said Dr. Keith EJ Teo, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering at the Center for Synthetic Biology, Northwestern University, United States. technological networks.

Computers store information as binary numbers or bits (1 and 0). These bits are used as code to direct the programs to be executed. Likewise, DNA contains four DNA bases – A, T, G, and C – which are linked together in different combinations to form genes. The goal of DNA-based data storage is to encode and decode binary data to and from complex DNA sequences, the researchers said. But there are practical limits to the use of DNA-based data storage.

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Therefore, Tyo and his colleagues developed an in vitro method to record DNA information. The method, Time-Sensitive Unstudied Recording Using TdT Local Environmental Signals, or TURTLES, is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The study showed that researchers could report up to 3/8 bytes of information in an hour and that it could be scaled. “A digital image is made up of millions of bytes and takes a fraction of a second to read and write to your hard drive. Parallelism with millions of DNA strands will allow for larger and faster data storage, but we will overcome technical hurdles to increase the number of bytes and shorten the standard time for a single DNA strand.

This is an exciting proof of concept for further development and potentially very rewarding, said Namita Bhan, co-first author of the study.