Microsoft Buys DNA to store Digital Data|Microsoft Digital Charge
Tremendous advantages of Microsoft DNA to store Digital Data,Say what? Pretty interesting that a gram of DNA can store a trillion gigabytes. And, given that DNA can last a long, long time (thousands of years and beyond), maybe we’ve finally got a way to hand down those old 66 rpm Elvis records to the grand kids.
Ten million DNA strands with that Lumia 2040.Microsoft buys a batch of customized DNA strands to use in encoding and data storage experimentation. The promise is incredible. In principle, a cubic millimeter could be the equivalent of an exo byte of storage.”As our digital data continues to expand exponentially, we need new methods for long-term, secure data storage,” said Doug Carmean, a member of Microsoft’s technology and research group. Carmean said initial tests demonstrated 100 percent of digital data it encoded on DNA could be recovered.The companies said the quantity of digital data being created is roughly doubling every two years but the means of storing that data isn’t keeping pace. A single gram of DNA can store 1 trillion gigabytes and last for 2,000 years, they said,his week, Microsoft has announced a partnership that could fundamentally transform our relationship with our past and the future.
Microsoft Explains about Digital Data
The digital data that exists today could be stored in less than 20 grams of DNA.
And the cost of all of this has dropped very significantly too. When scientists sequenced the human genome in 2003, which is around 3 billion nucleotides long, it cost more than $1 billion.
Today, we can read DNA like this for just over $1,000 and write genetic instructions using synthetic biology tools.
With the recent convergence of affordable DNA sequencing and new synthesis techniques, Twist Bioscience and Microsoft are now putting DNA data storage theory into practice. The goal is to develop methods that are both practical and scalable. The ability to encode digital information in strands of DNA is a major advancement in archival technology because DNA molecules are not susceptible to the most dire limitations of traditional digital storage media: limited lifespan, permanent/standard format and low data density.
The use of DNA for data storage is also practical because it’s something other areas of science are profoundly interested in working on too.
As long as there continues to be life on Earth constructed from DNA, there will always be the technology available to read DNA, ensuring the recoverability of its stored digital data. Furthermore, because of the growing importance of DNA-based technologies for scientific and medical research, there is continual pressure to improve technologies for reading and writing DNA to meet the demands of multiple fields.
Today, Microsoft and Twist Bioscience will set to work on creating the future of our past. But soon our computers could come equipped with a DNA sequencer and synthesizer to make short-term storage and transfer possible.
Why Microsoft Owns DNA to store Digital Data and Effective advantages of Digital data through DNA
Most of the world’s data is stored using media that won’t last for more than several decades, even in the optimal conditions of freezing temperatures and total darkness . One study showed that data on a hard drive running for four years shows an attrition rate of 22%—hardly stellar performance. Meanwhile, the amount of digital data in the world is doubling every two years, and our ability to store all that data is not keeping pace. According to a recent study by EMC, by 2020 we will only be able to store 15% of our digital data, whereas in 2013 we could store 33%.
For a society that compulsively creates and stores huge amounts of data, our short-lived digital storage technologies don’t satisfy their purpose as archives, neither in scope nor lifespan. To bridge the gap between archival technologies we have today and the enduring digital repositories we need, the newest information technology is also the world’s oldest—DNA.Taking a step back, the 50 billion tons of DNA on earth is the information technology that has propagated terrestrial life. These are the molecules that carry genetic instructions for the cell’s myriad operations. Strictly speaking, the idea that DNA is a prehistoric information technology follows from our understanding of modern inventions like digital computers that process information represented as a sequence of discrete symbols, because just like computers, DNA molecules encode information with sequences of discrete units. In computers these discrete units are the “zeroes and ones”
Ten years ago, using DNA to read and write digital data was a financial impossibility. In 2003, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium announced the first complete sequencing of the human genome (around 3 billion nucleotides long). It was an endeavor that cost more than $1 billion. Today, it costs just over a thousand dollars to sequence an entire genome, which is approximately three billion letters, and the price will continue to drop as the technology advances. With the recent convergence of affordable DNA sequencing and new synthesis techniques, Twist Bioscience and Microsoft are now putting DNA data storage theory into practice. The goal is to develop methods that are both practical and scalable. The ability to encode digital information in strands of DNA is a major advancement in archival technology because DNA molecules are not susceptible to the most dire limitations of traditional digital storage media: limited lifespan, permanent/standard format and low data density.
Huge Impact to store DNA to read Digital Data
There is an important distinction to be made here. There are two kinds of data storage—short term (computational, electronic) and long term (physical). Physically stored data is currently kept on tapes, and it is only safe for a while—every 10 years or so someone has to copy all of it to a new tape. Someday, home computers may be equipped with miniature DNA sequencers and synthesizers so that short-term storage on DNA will be possible. At this time, Twist Bioscience and Microsoft are focused on DNA for digital storage where the data is accessed infrequently, such as repositories of historical documents and images. Even in that one capacity, the use of DNA for digital storage represents a major advancement in archival technology and may have a huge cultural impact.
It’s almost paradoxical that even though our modern civilization records more detailed information about itself than any previous civilization, almost none of that information would survive long enough to be recovered by future peoples. One day eons in the future, our legacy could be recovered and pored over like a wooly mammoth preserved in permafrost “You might encode the entire Library of Congress on DNA, or archive Hollywood movies,” says Lu. “We’ve built a bunch of circuits, and it’s just the first wave of applications.”
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