Storage: From Drives and Discs to DNA

If you have ever studied the history of film, you know that one of the first motion pictures is the galloping mare. It was filmed by British photographer Eadweard Muybridge while trying to learn whether or not a horse in motion ever becomes truly airborne. This motion picture can now claim another first, as it is the first movie ever to be encoded into the DNA of a living cell. Crazy, right?

In the DNA of the cell, the film clip can multiply indefinitely as the host grows and divides. Furthermore, the clip can be obtained whenever it is needed. Harvard geneticist and author of “Regenesis, into bacterial DNA” George Church wonders, “Would it be possible one day to do something even stranger: to program bacteria to snuggle up to cells in the human body and to record what they are doing, in essence making a “movie” of each cell’s life?”

That idea could be monumental for healthcare. When a person gets ill, all the doctor would have to do is extract the bacteria and play back the clip to receive the cell’s data. This will allow the doctor to examine exactly how and when the cell was infected, making it easier to make an accurate diagnosis.

From floppy disks to the cloud, significant amounts of data are being stored. Dr. Adleman, a Mathematician at the University of Southern California, remarks, “DNA is never going out of fashion. Organisms have been storing information in DNA for billions of years, and it is still readable.”

This discovery could be a small step to unlimited storage, controlled by us and our DNA. We would be able to store anything from medical records and old family photos to historical documents and movies. The options at this point would seem only limited by one’s imagination.

While you may not be able to store your data this way yet, DicksonOne provides a cloud based monitoring system for your storage needs. With bank-level encryption you can securely send and store your data with essentially no limit as to how much the system can handle.


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Read more on this story from The New York Times