We have all read how DNA data storage is about to go viral and were curious to know how this process works. At SynBioBeta 2019, this was made even more clear after a panel discussion of leaders in the field forecasted that costs for storing information in DNA could drop to $100 per terabyte in as little as five years with the right investment.
While there are many challenges that remain for automating the DNA reading/writing process, experts are increasingly leaning towards DNA as a long-term information storage solution, particularly for archiving culturally significant data.
From cat memes to satellite photos, the amount of data we’re generating worldwide is growing exponentially. The technologies for storing that data are not advancing as quickly. Fortunately, nature has evolved its own elegant solution for information storage: DNA.
“It’s all based on translating bits into bases,” said Karin Strauss, Principal Research Manager at Microsoft. Every two bits of information have to be translated into one of the four DNA nucleotides. Once the sequences are mapped out in software, the DNA is synthesized and the other half of the DNA storage equation is recovering the bits (or reading the DNA) via sequencing.
Scientists are working hard to sequence and read the DNA. Many companies are investing big as the process isn’t cheap and also requires lot of time. But all that the researchers said, for now, is, “that future is coming very soon”.