Showing posts with label New Scientist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Scientist. Show all posts

Mar 27, 2015


DNA is DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. The blueprint of every living thing on the planet is encoded in DNA. It can hold a lot of information. We could theoretically encode all the world's data (emails, movies, books, pictures, etc.) on just a few grams of DNA.

According to New Scientist, a gram of DNA could theoretically store 455 exabytes of data. The world has about 1.8 zettabytes of data, according to a 2011 estimate. All the world's information would fit on a four-gram DNA hard drive the size of a teaspoon. Also, given the right conditions, DNA can survive for thousands of years. Long past the time traditional hard drives have degraded.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich encapsulated DNA in tiny, dry glass spheres. The researchers say that DNA kept at a temperature of 10 °C would remain uncorrupted and readable for 2,000 years. At even lower temperatures the data could last two million years.

However, preserving data in DNA is currently very expensive. Swiss researchers spent $1,500 to encode 83-kilobytes, which is smaller than the size a picture taken on a smartphone uses. There are a nearly two quintillion kilobytes in the world's 1.8 zettabytes.