Science and technology have always been close bedfellows, however sometimes scientist’s dream up new technologies that completely and utterly change everything. A pair of engineers at Harvard have been doing just that, and amazingly, have found a way to store around 704TB of data in a single gram of DNA. I re-read the findings of George Church and Sri Kosuri several times , but it took a while to finally grasp the concept that the entire contents of my NAS could be stored on the surface area of my pinky finger.
Scientists have been looking at the possibility of using DNA as a storage platform for years now because of its density, and also because it’s so stable. The issue however has always been with sequencing and reading the data, a problem that has at least partially been solved by recent developments in microfluidics and labs-on-a-chip .
Church and Kosuri have posted a 6 minute video attempting to describe the technology in laymen’s terms, but also speculate openly about the possibilities of a future where data storage is nearly infinite, and human progress can be documented and stored in HD for all eternity. We have to admit that the prospect of this is both terrifying, and amazing. It will probably still be many years (if ever) before we will get our hands on something like this, but it’s great to see people are still dreaming of the world beyond mechanical and SSD storage.
What would you do with limitless storage?