Hard Science

Scientists Prove that DNA is More Efficient than Computers in Data Storage

Hashem AL-ghailiAugust 17th 2015
  • DNA holds significant advantages over hard drives, in the bigger picture. While modern-day external hard drives hold up to 5 terabytes of data, a fraction of DNA could, in theory, have the capacity to store more than 300,000 terabytes of data. Moreover, modern archeological finds prove that DNA from hundreds of thousands of years ago can still be sequenced today, proving their longevity in the real world.
  • Dr. Robert Grass and his team of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) encoded DNA with 83 kilobytes (Kb) of text comprising of the Swiss Federal Charter from 1291 and the Method of Archimedes, from the 10th century. The team proceeded to store the DNA in spheres made of silica before warming it to nearly 160 F, or 70 C for an entire week. That’s directly proportional to keeping it for 2,000 years at 50 F or 10 C. Upon removing the DNA from the silica sphere, the team decoded theDNA. The data was intact. Error-free.

  • With Dr. Grass and his team of researchers successfully demonstrating the archival potential of DNA over long periods of time, they’re already taking on the next challenge – the problem of indexing and searching for specific data within the DNA strand.

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