Is DNA the Storage System of the Future?
A research team at the University of Washington along with Microsoft have found a solution to our increased amount of digital storage. In today world we store everything digitally including pictures, videos, documents and more. All of these things need to be stored somewhere, so we use hard drives, flash drives, and other large electronic equipment. Eventually we are going to run out of space and need smaller alternatives to the current storage systems. instead of creating a new technology the research team at the University of Washington decided to reconfigure the most basic building block of organisms; which can store more information than anything we have ever created.
They were able to store images into the DNA by reconfiguring the nucleotide sequence. They converted long strands of ones and zeros into G's, C's, A's, and T's. During their research they found an affective way to convert the digital data which reduces the error when the information is retrieved from the DNA. This method of storage would not only allow us to store more information in a smaller space, but also allow storage to be more permanent. Unlike electronics that are bound to breakdown after years and years of use, DNA can be dehydrated and easily rehydrated when the information is needed.
The team of researchers believe this storage method is going to be implemented in the near future. The main barrier for this technology is the price. It is still too expensive to synthesize and sequence DNA on the scale that is required to use it as a mode of digital storage. I believe this is the future of digital storage. As technology improves the technique of using DNA to store digital data will become easier and more cost effective; therefore more accessible for society.