Storing digital data on DNA sounds like something out of a science fiction book but it is already a reality.
At least it has been proven to be possible.
It is still in the developmental stage.
But consider how much information nature can encode into a single strand of DNA.
Now you can begin to visualize the incredible potential for data storage if we can learn how to fully develop the technology to do that.
Today scientists have already created artificial DNA.
We have have managed to encode small amounts of information on it so we know it can be done.
There are Advantages
The advantages to storing data on DNA are many.
Durability being one of the most important.
Scientists have retrieved intact DNA from mammoths frozen for 60,000 years.
It shows that if it is stored in ideal conditions DNA can last far longer than anything humans have invented.
In 2015 scientists reported that they had encased DNA in silica glass spheres.
We estimate storage life is one million years if the spheres are stored at -18 degrees Celsius.
2000 years if they were stored at 10 degrees Celsius.
That is a long time to store data.
There is certainly no other data storage method that can rival that longevity.
The downside to DNA data storage is that the whole strand of DNA has to be sequenced to retrieve the small bit of information that has been encoded on it.
We know this is time-consuming and inefficient.
As technology develops, though, that will become easier and faster.
Work is proceeding very quickly on this technology.
Scientific groups around the world approach the problem from different directions and make progress in many different areas.
Nucleic acid memory is in the experimental stage, and looks very promising, as do several other innovative approaches.