They manage to use the DNA of living bacteria as hard disk: up to 100 bytes of data

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The saying you are what you eat says. In the case of bacteria, this phrase is applied literally. A group of scientists from Harvard University has used the unique immune system of bacteria to convert them into living units disk with up to 100 bytes of information.

How much data can dna hold
How much data can dna hold

How much data can dna hold? 100 bytes is not much today, but it is a considerable leap forward considering that the largest amount of data that had been stored so far in these organisms was 11 bits. The method used is based on genetic material, but no need to modify the DNA of bacteria. Are themselves those that do through a natural process.

Bacteria have a defense mechanism that helps immunize against viruses. This mechanism is called CRISPR / Cas and is basically that the organism assimilates chains as viral DNA that identifies and assimilates its own genetic code. In addition, the fact that the bacteria pass this information  is given.

Scientists have just created a chain of specific information that seems viral DNA and have released a colony of bacteria Escherichia coli . Then you just have to sequence the DNA from a sample of microorganisms to retrieve information.

There is a certain margin of error, because sometimes the whole message bacteria are not eaten. However, it is very simple to fix, because although not absorb whole, they always do sequentially. Knowing this, we need only compare the DNA sequencing of several E. coli to get the full message.

100 bytes achieved by Dr. Seth Shipman and Jeff Nivala are just the beginning.Other species of bacteria can store up to 3,000. It is not difficult to imagine storage units based on these microorganisms, although its use would not be home computers. [ Science via Popular Mechanics ]

How much data can dna hold

Microsoft is buying ten million strands of DNA from biology startup Twist Bioscience to investigate the use of genetic material to store data.

The data density of DNA is orders of magnitude higher than conventional storage systems, with 1 gram of DNA able to represent close to 1 billion terabytes (1 zettabyte) of data. DNA is also remarkably robust; DNA fragments thousands of years old have been successfully sequenced. How much data can dna hold

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