Ever wondered about DNA‘s use outside a living body? Well, Microsoft is on the roll for that. According to the latest reports, the American tech giants are working on a brand new project which focuses on storing data on strands of DNA. The project is already in its developmental stages and we can see this remarkable invention going live in the next few years. Initially, the company will use it to store its own data on the DNA strands but this may eventually become a trend and a vast commercial usage is expected.
MIT Technology Review
According to a report in MIT Technology Review, Microsoft’s computer architects are working to have an operational storage system using DNA strands. The architects are hopeful enough to achieve this milestone by the end of this decade. This will definitely be a milestone in the technology industry as currently, the cheapest source of data storage is the magnetic tape which can keep the information stored for up to 30 years.
A Paradigm Shift
This milestone can totally change the face of data storage technology as using a biological material such as DNA for the data storage purpose can deliver unprecedented results. The science had admitted the fact almost 70 years ago that the DNA strands can store enormous amounts of data and now Microsoft is working on digitalizing the technology. The MIT report goes like:
While strings of nucleic acid have been used to cram information into living cells for billions of years, its role in IT data storage was demonstrated for the first time just five years ago, when a Harvard University geneticist encoded his book — including jpg data for illustrations — in just under 55,000 strands of DNA.
The Capabilities of DNA Storage
Though recording data in the form of a nucleic acid sequence is still a big challenge to scientists, they have admitted that up to 215 petabytes (215 million gigabytes) of information can be stored on a single gram of DNA. Talking about the cost of the project, the report said:
This process would have cost around $800,000 using materials on the open market, meaning it would need to be thousands of times cheaper to make it a competitive option.