A nascent technology is researching encoding data into DNA. By encoding data bits into tiny molecules of DNA, they are hoping to fit entire data centers in a few flasks of DNA. They predict that it will be accomplished by the end of the decade.
As the computer has evolved, there is a need for more storage. In the early years of computers, a few kilobytes were satisfactory to accomplish most programs. Today we the computer has expanded the need for storage into the terabytes and it is still growing. They anticipate that by 2025 global storage capacity will require zettabytes. Per Moore’s law, the growth for increase storage is not waning. The problem now is the physical space needed for all the storage drives.
DNA storage is a possible alternative. First, it is extremely dense so that more data can be stored per space. DNA is a double helix chain consisting of four nucleotide bases, adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). The DNA chain is folded tightly thus it is very dense. By encoding the data into combinations of the nucleotide bases, it can be used as a storage media. For example, by use of an algorithm an A can represent a ‘0’, an T can represent a ‘1’, a C can represent a ’10’ and a G can represent a ’11’. The numbers represented by the nucleotide bases can be changed to represent any binary number. The end result is that data can be stored in a stable media take requires a much smaller physical space.
To retrieve the information, the DNA can be read by using a sequencing technology such as Oxford Nanopore’s MinION. Over all this storage technology is a cost effect alternative that provide greater shelf life and a stable media without using as much physical space.