Scientists have come up with a new way of storing data inside DNA

The future of technology lies not only in the constant growth of processing power of processors or the transition to quantum computers, but also in the evolution of storage devices. Humanity generates a huge amount of information stored in traditional ways – on HDD and SSD-drives. Periodically, scientists offer alternative ways of storing information, among which there are very unusual. For example, using DNA as a data storage device. Recently, researchers at the Waterford Institute of Technology have proposed another way to implement this technology.

Experts suggest that by 2025, mankind will generate an average of 160 zettabytes of data per year. Today, this data volume is 16 zettabytes. One zetta-byte is 10 21 bytes of data, so now you can roughly imagine the scale of the emerging situation. The existing methods of data storage are not only inefficient, but also require significant energy costs, as well as large spaces for the placement of the necessary iron.

Irish researchers proposed another way of storing data inside DNA. To date, several groups of scientists are trying to develop similar technologies by their own methods, but specialists from the Waterford Institute of Technology have approached the problem from an unusual angle. They use bacteria for archiving and writing data. This method allows you to store 1 zitterabyte of data in just 1 gram of DNA.

"We see in DNA some kind of software of the cell, which contains code that fully describes its functionality. That's why we can safely assume that DNA can be used to store our own data . We take information in digital form, transform it into nucleotides and with their help store the data, "the project manager, Dr. Sasitkharan Balasubramaniam, reflects.

At the moment, this method is very expensive, but over time its cost will decrease to a reasonable price. As once it happened with the hard drives we are familiar with today or solid state drives. Technology created by Irish scientists uses plasmids (small DNA molecules physically separate from genomic chromosomes and capable of replicating autonomously) to encode and store data inside the Novablue strain of Escherichia coli bacteria E Coli.

The choice in favor of this strain was largely due to the fact that it has a fixed position, which ensures reliable preservation of the data. The data can be extracted using a conjugation process and transferred from place to place by the forces of the mobile strain of bacteria HB101 all the same E. coli. Control over this process scientists are carried out with antibiotics tetracycline and streptomycin. This method is not only expensive, as we already noted above, but also rather slow. At the moment, it takes up to three days of real time to find the data you need. But scientists are sure: the process can be significantly speeded up, because already today there are methods of recording data in DNA in a matter of seconds.

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