Forget thumb drives and hard drives, a geneticist at the Wyss Institute in Harvard has successfully stored 5.5 petabits (700 terabytes) of data in a gram of DNA. This isn’t new but the amount of data stored kills the old record of storing data on DNA by about a thousand times.
The feat has been achieved by researchers George Church and Sri Kosuri. They treated strands of DNA as a digital storage device that store 96 bits of data. The data can be read by sequencing the DNA in the same way that it is done with the human genome. Each of the bases have to be converted back to binary. In order to facilitate the sequencing of the DNA, each strand has a 19 bit address block in the beginning, which allows it to be sequenced easily.
Using DNA for storing data has been an ongoing research for a long time. The idea presents a good alternative since it is very stable and allows a lot of data to be stored for a long time. This is because DNA can survive for a very long time, going up to even thousands of years.