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Saturday, August 9, 2008

World's most compact data storage ever

Gone are the days of 5 1/2'' disk, 3 1/2'' disk and even CD. DVD is also on verge of extinction due to threat from HDDVD and Blue Ray. While each of these devices may be capable of handling more data than our brain could ever do, they still pale in comparison with what some scientists have discovered. New wave of super-compact data storage device use as eternal technology as DNA.

That's right, scientists are planning to use bacterial Deoxyribonucleic acid to store large amount of information in smallest space protected under extremes of condition. Specially designed DNA strands contain information in binary form and are inserted in common bacterias. Current use of this technology will not involve storing movies but storing large scientific and historical information to prevent it from destruction under nuclear catastrophe or other humanity shattering events. And bacterias are right tool because they are
good at surviving extreme conditions...can tolerate high temperatures, desiccation, ultraviolet light and ionising radiation doses 1000 times higher than would be fatal to humans.
Each strand is coded to prevent bacteria to identify it as virus and disregard or mutate, thus each generation passes information to next without disruption. With billions of bacterias in a millilitre of liquid, one can only imagine storage capacity of such system. May be one day we'll bacterial USB drive!