Digital files stored and retrieved using DNA memory
Jan 23, 2013
Forget hard disks or DVDs. If you want to store vast amounts of information look instead to DNA, the molecule of which genes are made. Scientists in the UK have stored about a megabyte’s worth of text, images and speech into a speck of DNA and then retrieved that data back almost faultlessly. They say that a larger-scale version of the technology could provide an extremely dense and long-lived form of digital storage that is particularly well suited to data archiving.
As ever-greater quantities of electronic data are produced, the problem of how to store that data becomes more acute. There are many options for archiving data but all have their drawbacks. For example, hard disks used in data centres are expensive and need a constant source of electricity, and magnetic tape, while requiring no power, starts to degrade after a few years.