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Offline Timi Dapsin

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« on: February 16, 2015, 08:01:44 PM »

Very soon people would no longer use hard drives as data storage,

Scientists store data inside DNA that could last MILLIONS of years.

Gradually usage of Hard drives to store would be coming to an end,
Potential for DNA to be used for data storage has been discussed for years
But retrieving the data encoded in the genes has previously proved tricky
Inspired by fossils, researchers from Zurich encased DNA in a 'fossil shell'
They subjected these shells - or silica spheres -  to extreme temperatures
This was carried out to mimic chemical degradation seen naturally on DNA
Despite the conditions, the DNA was extracted and decoded from the silica
And if preserved in freezing temperatures, the researchers said the data has the potential to last for 'millions of years' inside DNA

Just one gram of DNA can store the equivalent of 14,000 Blu-ray discs.
But although the potential for DNA as an alternative to hard drives has been known about for years,
it is not the most reliable and secure way to keep data safe.
The latest breakthrough could be about to change that, however.
Chemists subjected spheres of DNA to extreme temperatures designed to mimic chemical degradation and found the material - and the data stored on it - could be successfully decoded.
The research was led by Robert Grass from ETH Zurich's Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences.
'DNA lends itself to this task as it can store large amounts of information in a compact manner,' said the researchers.
'Unfortunately, the data is not always retrievable error-free: gaps and false information in the encoded data arise through chemical degradation and mistakes in DNA sequencing.

In 2013, researchers from the European Bioinformatics Institute at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire 'downloaded' all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on to strands of synthetic DNA.

Scientists were then able to decode the information and reproduce the words of the Bard with complete accuracy.
The same technique made it possible to store a 26-second excerpt from Martin Luther King's 'I Have A Dream' speech and a photo of the Cambridgeshire laboratory where the work took place.
For their experiment, the scientists used a tiny amount of synthetic, dry DNA.
Five genetic 'letters' from the genetic code - A,C,G and T - were used to represent the zeros and ones that make up 'bytes' of digital information.
For instance, the upper case T in the word 'Thou' from the second line of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII - 'Thou art more lovely and more temperate' - was encoded by the sequence TATAT.
The scientists then incorporated an 'error correction', similar to that found laptops and mobile phones.
This involved overlapping short strands of DNA and independently writing every million-molecule fragment of code four times.
Effectively, three back ups were created for each fragment, greatly reducing the chances of mistakes. 
This was a similar method used by Reinhard Heckel from ETH Zurich's Communication Technology Laboratory for the recent study.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 08:09:49 PM by Timi Dapsin »


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