Google+ Badge

Monday, December 28, 2015

DNA - Superstorage

DNA the fundamental building blocks of life comprised of the following four nucleotides Adenine(A),Guanine(G),Cytosine(C) and Thiamine(T). As shown in the figure below DNA's structure is like a spiral staircase. One vertical end of the staircase is a sequence of the above four nucleotides.

Each step of this spiral staircase comprises of a bond between A-T or G-C. Hence the other vertical end of the DNA comprises of the corresponding nucleotides. So if there is A in one end of the step, there would be T at other end of the step. If there is G at one end of the step, there would be C at the other end of the step.

The structure is pretty simple to understand.

Now digital data comprises of a sequence of 0s and 1s. It exists like 01001100001011100.... . Now in places of 0s and 1s if we replace the digital data with with the above nucleotides by coding A=00,C=01,G=10,T=11 ; then we get a sequence of DNA. Of course we can produce the other helix by associating A to C (vice - versa) and G to T(vice versa).

Now a recent research has shown that a gram of DNA can store 455 exabytes of data.
(1exabyte =270 bytes). All the data that is there in the internet is much less than 455 exabytes. So we can actually store all the data of the world in a small test tube containing around one gram of DNA. 

The researchers have also come out with a a way to preserve the data for a long period of time taking inspiration from the way nature preserved dinosaur's DNA information for millions of years.

From this research it is clear that in the future DNA can be a potential supercompact storage medium(although it is not clear how fast we will be able to access the data.) . We have many grammes of DNA in our bodies, this shows that the amount of data in our bodies exceeds the amount of data we have in the world. 

More information about this research can be found from the following link

No comments:

Post a Comment