DNA Hard Drive- The Futuristic Data Storage Technology


The increasing amount of digital data these days and in the future days, are naturally possessing a demand of reliable long-term data storage and thus we have to find trusted, easily writable and readable data storage technology along with a large capacity of amount of data stored. Thus, the most potential and emerging possibility in n near future is the DNA Hard Drives! You may wonder to hear that the How capable the DNA that are in your body cell are to store, reconstruct an d save data for a long period of time in a unimaginable amount!!

In near future, DNA will not only be the blueprint of life, but also a safe storage of a vast collection of digital information, documents, files, videos and any other types of data for thousands of years. Keep reading-

DNA Technology Data Storage: A Revolution in The Industry


A massive quantity of information can be stored in a single DNA containing molecule. You may wonder to hear that, but the true fact is, one single gram of DNA can hold up to billions of gigabytes of digital data! And scientists are working restlessly to figure out the possibilities and advantages from both technical and economical points of view.

Based on a report of The Independent, The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology had been able to fossilize the DNA inside a molecule in a glass and that is supposed to save the data safely without any deviation for 1 million years! Also, they are up to developing an algorithm that would decipher the written data in the cell DNA.

How DNA Data Storage Works?

All the prospects and possibilities are in theoretical basis until right now! Some approaches have been successful until today that helped us to explore the possibility f DNA hard drive capability and capacity. However, here is an easy-to understand working procedure of DNA data storage process-

How-DNA-Storage -Works

The basic DNA structure is the mutual bonds of four nucleotides- A, C, T & G. As in a hard disk, or in any other computation, the basic language is constructed using 0 and 1. Similarly, in DNA storage technology, it’s supposed to be with those basic nucleotides- A, C, T & G. A little more exploration of the basic double-helix structure will make to easy to code it according to the primary binary coding language.

The stored files are divided into several numbers of segments. Each part or bookended with individual index code that would define the location and what it belongs within the file. You can also call this the analogous to the files this is storing. After storing the data is ready to demonstrate and to accurately reconstruct. Thus, you can read or write the existing data with a DNA reader.

You may like to read this Article from the famous journal Nature which describes these facts more precisely.

Magnetic Hard Drive vs. DNA Hard Drives

  • Data Storage Density

    This is another important problem that we face on current magnetic data storage drives. The data storage density on DNA hard drives is thousand times greater compared to the existing storage Medias like hard disks, CD/DVDs and other magnetic tapes.
    As an example, group of researchers from U.K. has been able to encode DNA with the MP3 audio track of the famous speech from Martin Luther King Jr., a PDF version of a document, a text file on ASCII format and a color image of JPEG format. In total, the storage density was 2 petabytes/gram.

  • Durability and Readability of Data

    The readability of the data from DNA storage will remain more unchanged and likely constant than if it’s even refrigerated and frozen state for thousands of years. Nick Goldman, the project leader of a project of DNA storage research from European Bioinformatics Institute has recently mentioned that, ‘The reading technologies of DNA data storage will e soon available to our scientists and that would definitely fastest ever! Also, the storage medium will be separated from the machine that will read it.

Why DNA Data Storage is Awesome?

Let me provide an approximated storage capability of future DNA hard drives- A single ounce of DNA that you can fit into a penny, can store 300,000 terabytes of digital information which is sustainable and protect-able for next 1 million years.

Another breathtaking feature of the DNA hard drive is to the data construction accuracy and no error rate of the data stored in DNA. Generally, organic storage like DNA are more or less unlikely to store accurate data and keeping it unchanged for years and decades. But the scientists have created some genetic alphabets that would label the genetic bases (nucleotides) A, T, G & C. They have also informed that no repeated bases like AA or CC will take place. And that would reduce the error rate of DNA data into zero!

Now you might want to see a practical example of data stored in DNA storage. Here we go! Click here to watch an Entire Book Stored in DNA Hard Drive!

Future Prospects of DNA Data Drive

Technologies on DNA hard drive is getting smarter than before every day. Now the main parameter the scientists are working on is the cost of data transfer (read and write). From an approximation, it had been showed that, currently encoding 1 megabyte of data into DNA costs approximately $12,400 and an additional $220 is added for reading the written data back. Now the scientists are working on to reduce the cost into two orders of magnitudes. Thereby, within next decade, the data exchanging costs in DNA drives will be less than current magnetic data tapes.
However, though the cost of DNA data transfer is not unto the reach of general use, but soon there will be technologies that would help building chips to reduce the costs.