Sunday, March 24, 2013

DNA may be the future of tech memory storage

Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute in England, studying bioinformatics and engineering, have discovered the amazing memory capacity of synthetic DNA. The researchers were able to store 5 files within the DNA that amounted to 750 kb of data. Furthermore, due to DNA's relatively low price, it shows promise in the future for low cost memory storage. To store the DNA, researchers converted the 5 files of choice into bits, and then continued to code them genetically using ACGT; once the files were coded, it was sent to scientists at Agilent Technologies in Santa Clara, California to then be converted into millions of molecules of DNA. The DNA was then able to be translated back into data after it was sent back to England; although it isn't likely that this technology will be used recently, within a decade it will be capable of storing enough memory for approximately 50 years.

I believe that this could also be the future of bio-memory devices; or any type of implantable device into a biological organism that is able to store memory. This could hold endless possibilities for us as a species; with limitless memory storage, many different tasks and memories could be called upon at great efficiency. Furthermore, since the study describes the extreme low cost of this synthetic DNA, memory storage in electronic devices may also be limitless in the future - no more external hard drives, and no more concern of ever-decreasing memory space on computers, phones, and video game consoles. Hopefully this research is funded immensely in the future and we are able to reap its benefits within our lifetime.


  1. What I'm just curious about is 'why'? It's not like storage prices on computers cost a lot, they're pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things, and they're getting cheaper by the second. Whereas the development to get all of this to work seems a bit more complicated, and I'd imagine that it takes longer for computers to upload & download data from the DNA then from traditional media or even Solid State Drives.

    I think a more interesting use for something like this would be to see if scientists can alter the DNA of a newborn before fertilization. I'm not saying that should be done (in fact, I hope they don't actually do this for everyone), but it'd be interesting at the very least.

  2. Now this is what I'm talking about! If geneticists have been working on this from the start they may have had a working prototype for us to use. Imagine not having to worry about memorizing so much material for final exams because it is readily accessible. We could advance onto more complicated forms of bettering ourselves instead of memorizing info then vomiting it back up for a test. Not to mention how this could possibly help those memory loss. However, there are some memories I could imagine I would not want to retain. Plus you don't want to have your head full of every thought being constantly recalled. The brain has natural ways of storing info and using only what is needed or consistently used until that task becomes instinct rather than something from memory. Still, so long as there is a way for the brain to regulate the information, I'd love to see this type of technology mature.