Researchers report storing 90 gigabytes of data in bacteria DNA

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Date: Friday, December 24th, 2010, 06:06
Category: News

This is weird.

But it is nifty.

Per BlueSci, researchers from the University of Hong Kong managed to place 90GB of data into the DNA of a colony of 18 E.coli. The data can also be encrypted by site-specific genetic recombination; a purely natural process that means data can be jumbled up.

Given that there are apparently around 10 million cells in a gram of bacteria, and each cell can hold approximately 5GB, this could lead to some pretty enormous storage capacities. Plus, different types of cells have stronger radioresistance than others, meaning the cells (and data in them) would survive a nuclear blast.

However, the discovery still has a lot of work to go, as retrieving the data is “tedious and expensive” for now. That, and DNA cells can mutate, which could destroy some of the data stored. Due to these threats, the testing has only been done on genetically modified bacteria and limited to copyright information data storing only.

Stay tuned for additional details.

And yes, science is both weird and awesome.

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