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Bible Written on a Grain of Rice (3.658 Megs)? How about on a Gram of DNA (455 Gigs)?

 

Just when you thought it was smart to save information in the cloud, scientists have created a storage medium that makes today’s computer farms look Uncle Max’s storage locker.

 

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The technical name for it is deoxyribonucleic acid. You know it better as DNA. In terms of low cost and efficiency, it may be the quintessential data warehouse, and one day it will store books. Lots and lots of them. Maybe all of them. All that have ever been written or ever will be.

“DNA – the chemical that stores genetic instructions in almost all known organisms – has an impressive data capacity,” writes Geraint Jones in The Guardian. “One gram can store up to 455 billion gigabytes: the contents of more than 100 billion DVDs, making it the ultimate in compact storage media.”

The Harvard Medical School researchers pointed out how superior DNA is to any storage media humanity has come up with. “It can be easily copied, and is often still readable after thousands of years in non-ideal conditions,” Jones reports. “Unlike ever-changing electronic storage formats such as magnetic tape and DVDs, the fundamental techniques required to read and write DNA information are as old as life on Earth.”

The Harvard team demonstrated the practicality of their discovery by uploading a 53,o00 word book into DNA.” Now the challenge is for us to download it. Obviously an e-book will not suffice. What a DNA-book will look like is anybody’s guess…

 

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