Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DNA data storage

Since the discovery of genes by Catholic Augustinian Friar Gregor Mendel, there has been an explosion of genetic research that eventually led to further discoveries.  DNA is one of these discoveries.  DNA, or
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a chemical structure that contains the blueprints for all organisms.  Without it, life would not exist in the way we know it on Earth.  DNA replicates and even repairs itself.  It is like computer data in a registry which has its own registry repair program at the same time.      

DNA was discovered by James D. Watson and Francis Crick.  It is structured by two polymers which each containing nucleotides that repeat themselves in a sequential manner.  These sequences carry genetic information regarding the organism.  

How much information?  LOTS!   There is no hard drive, computer, or media that can store as much information as a mere gram of DNA can.  A single gram of DNA can store billions of gigabytes.  All of the world's data can fit in just one gram with room still left for more information to store.  

Scientists in the fields of Biology and Genetics recently published a study which shows how they stored an entire genetics textbook in one trillionth of a gram.  One my ask why is this important?  Well, this could change  how we store data in the future in an extraordinary way.

Instead of relying on hard drives, compact disks, DVD or Blu ray technology which is limited, we can design better ones that mimic the storage capacity of DNA molecules.  This is important because we can store huge amounts of data about human history, human knowledge and of course personal things that will be preserved for thousands, maybe millions of years depending on how long this world survives.


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