Many companies today use data centers to store digital information. These are very large rooms that are completely filled with servers and hard drives. Nowadays, the production of new information on the internet is increasing more rapidly than the developments of storage capacity. So we are going to have a problem to store all that information.
Need for storage capacity
The University of Washington has recently conducted research on DNA molecules and their ability to store information. Human DNA contains a lot of data about our bodies and all characteristics. It must have a large storage capacity. The researchers have now found a way by which we can add information to the DNA molecules, and how we can retrieve that information.
In addition to the large storage capacity, there is another advantage to DNA as a storage medium. Flash drives, hard drives, and other media wear out quickly and can be used only a few years. DNA does not wear as easily and therefore can be used for centuries. However, the medium is more suitable for archival storage rather than “easy-access” storage.
How does it save information?
The information is chopped into small pieces, and then the ones and zeroes of the digital information will be converted to the bases of the DNA; A, C, T, and G. The conversion is a painstaking job, this is very error-prone.
How can we retrieve the information?
During the storage of the information, a particular code is added to the piece of information. This can be compared with, for example, a zip code. With this code, the right piece of information can be found, which can then be translated to the original information. Now you see the picture, video or other information you have saved.
The techniques used are still being developed further. At this time, it is possible to be able to use the methods but only on a small scale. It is still very expensive in order to apply this technique on a large scale. It must be further developed be able to use it extensively. What is clear is that this development is going to come, because the need is rising to store more information and also save it more compact.