Our planet now has about 10 trillion gigabytes of digital data, and every day humans generate emails, photos, tweets, and many other digital files that add another 2.5 million gigabytes of data. Much of this data is stored in massive facilities known as “exabyte data centers” (exabytes = 1 billion gigabytes) that are the size of a football field, and cost about $1 billion to build and maintain.
Storing all the data of the world in a cup of DNA
Read also Allows hackers to infiltrate users.. Serious security holes in Dell computers A user reveals a “secret feature” in the “Android 12” update that Google did not talk about Your guide to protecting your privacy when using messaging apps Batteries killer.. Learn about Dracula’s energy sucker technology
Many scientists believe that the alternative solution lies in the molecule that contains our genetic information, RNA, or what is known as “DNA”, which can be developed to store huge amounts of information at a very high density. In this context says Professor Marc Pathe biological engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology “MIT” (MIT) that ” coffee cup full DNA can theoretically all world data storage”, as mentioned site “technological” (technology.org) recently quoting platform Institute that published the research.
“We need new solutions to store these huge amounts of data that the world is producing and assembling, especially archival data, and RNA is a thousand times denser than flash memory,” Pathy explains. It takes any energy, and you can write DNA and then store it forever.”
Scientists have already proven that they can encode images and text pages in the form of RNA. However, there is also a need to find an easy way to access the required file from the many overlapping pieces of DNA that make up the DNA, and this was a complex problem that scientists faced in the past, but Pathé and colleagues solved this problem and found a way to do so by encapsulating each specific data file in a 6-μm silica particle, which was labeled with short DNA sequences that reveal its contents.
Using this method, the researchers showed that they could precisely pull out individual images stored in DNA strands, and in this way they could categorize files that could be as large as 1,020.
Digital storage systems encode text, images, or any other type of information as a string of 0 and 1 or bits and bytes, and this same information can be encoded in DNA using the four nucleotides that make up the genetic code: a, t, g, c. (A,T,G,C), for example, “G” and “C” can be used to represent the house “0”, while “A” and “T” (T) can be used. Byte “1”.
DNA has many other features that make it desirable as a storage medium: it is very stable, easy to use (albeit expensive), and because of its high density it saves a lot of space, 1 exabyte of stored data is barely 1 nm cubic, Which you can fit in the palm of your hand without feeling it instead of a huge football field.
One of the major obstacles to this type of storage is the high physical cost, with the cost of writing one petabyte (one million gigabytes) of data currently at about a trillion dollars. To become a competitor to magnetic tape, which is often used to store archival data today, the cost would have to drop dramatically, and Pathy expects this to happen within a decade or two at the latest.
The main obstacle faced by researchers
Aside from the cost, the main obstacle the research team has faced in using DNA to store data is the difficulty of finding the file you want among all the others.
“Suppose the cost is reasonably and economically feasible, and we can store exabytes or zettabytes of data in DNA, then what? We’ll have a huge pile of data stored in DNA, and if you want to find a particular movie or image,” says Pathy. It would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”
Currently, DNA files are traditionally retrieved using polymerase chain reaction or PCR, and each DNA data file includes a sequence number associated with a primer BCR, and to pull a specific file this is added Primer to the sample to find the desired sequence. However, one drawback of this approach is the possibility of a cross-reactivity between the primer and the DNA sequence, which leads to the pull of unwanted coils.
What is the solution to this dilemma?
As an alternative approach, the MIT team has developed a new retrieval technology that involves encapsulating each coil stored in DNA in a small silica capsule. Each capsule is encoded with single-stranded DNA “barcodes” corresponding to the contents of the file, and these codes are the name of the capsule contained in the file.
To make sure this method worked, the researchers encoded (named) 20 different images into chunks of DNA about 3,000 nucleotides long, which is about 100 bytes.
The result was amazing. The raw materials were labeled with fluorescent or magnetic particles, which made it easy to pull them out and make sure they match the required coil, and then pull or open that coil while leaving the rest of the DNA intact for return to storage. This search process allows typing words such as “President, America, the eighteenth century” to be the result of President George Washington, which is the same as what is currently done while searching for such words in the Google search engine (Google).
For the barcodes they used, the researchers used single-stranded DNA sequences from a library of 100,000 sequences, each approximately 25 nucleotides long, developed by Dr. Stephen Elig, Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
And if you put two of these labels on each file, you can name 1010 (10 billion) different files uniquely, and with 4 labels on each you can name 1020 files uniquely.
A giant leap in search technology
George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, describes this technology as “a giant leap in knowledge management and research technology.”
“Rapid advances in writing, copying, reading and storing archival low-energy DNA data have left unexplored opportunities for accurately recovering data files from huge databases of up to 1021 bytes on the zeta scale,” says Church.
Church continues, “The new study was able to achieve this amazingly by using a completely independent outer layer of DNA, and taking advantage of the different properties of this acid, all using what we currently have from the tools and chemistry we have.
It may take some time for the financial cost of this amazing method of storing digital data to come down, but it is definitely coming in the near future.
It remains to be mentioned that the research team that achieved this amazing achievement consists of Professor Dr. Mark Pathy as the team leader, researcher James Bandall from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Associate Professor at the Institute Watson Shepherd, and graduate student at the Institute Joseph Berlant.