Computer engineers are known for creating small devices that can store libraries of movies and music. Although the computers are now able to store a lot more data than they used to a few years ago, there is another thing that can store even more information.
Geneticists have concluded that DNA is the “device” that has the most information. A person’s DNA contains all the important information for the body to work. This whole system is small and the cells are invisible to the naked eye.
This is why computer engineers have started to look into microbiology for answers. In order to make computers that can store more data, computer scientists need to find out how to fit all the information in such small devices. Microbiology is the one that has the answer, apparently.
Since everybody is using technology, nowadays, the archive of digital info is starting to fill up. Every photo, video, and app brings more and more digital information that needs to be stored somewhere. The DNA is the only thing that can store more than 455 exabytes per gram. This means that only a gram of DNA can have more than 45 billion copies of your favorite movie.
There have been scientists that have tried to use DNA as a storage system for information. One of those researchers is George Church. He used DNA in 2012 and it was a success. Since then, many people have tried to find out ways to use DNA in order to make better computers.
In 2013, another team of researchers managed to store 730 kilobytes of data into DNA strands. After that, in 2016, researchers from the University of Washington and a team from Microsoft announced their success. They were able to store 200 megabytes.
The latest record was established by a group of researchers from Columbia University and from the New York Genome Center. These computer scientists stored 200 petabytes per gram of DNA. This record was published in the journal Science, this Thursday.
These attempts show that computer engineers have a lot to learn from microbiology. This field shows a lot of potential and they should be focused on finding how the DNA can help them store more and more information.
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