Advantages and disadvantages of DNA data storage

DNA is the molecule that contains all living creatures’ genetic instructions. It is a double-stranded helix composed of four nucleotide bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G).

The sequence of these bases dictates the information available for the creation and maintenance of an organism. To put it another way, DNA holds biological information.

As a result, DNA is an appealing alternative for data storage. After all, if it can store complicated biological data, why can’t it store digital data? Several companies are already working on this technology, which they believe has enormous promise.

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How much data can you hold

In theory, every bit of data ever created by humans might be stored in a single room. In practice, storing that much data would be prohibitively expensive with existing technology. A human being has a theoretical storage capacity of 645 quadrillion GB (6,45,00,00,00,00,00,00,000)

A single gram of DNA can store 215 petabytes (215 million gigabytes).

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dna storage 2 - Advantages and disadvantages of DNA data storage

Advantages and disadvantages of DNA data storage

Advantages

There are numerous benefits to using DNA for data storage. For starters, DNA is incredibly dense. It can store a large amount of data in a little amount of space.

Second, DNA is stable and can last anywhere from 10 to 500 years. As a result, it is perfect for archival storage.

Third, DNA is error-correcting. When DNA is replicated, enzymes proofread the new strands and fix any errors that may have happened during replication. This means that DNA data can be accurately preserved.

Fourth, as sequencing technology advances, data extraction from DNA will become easier and more efficient.

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Finally, the storage of DNA data is scalable. As sequencing costs decline, it will become feasible to store increasing amounts of data in DNA strands.

Disadvantages

There are also some disadvantages to using DNA for data storage.

First, it is currently very expensive.

Second, to prevent degradation, DNA strands must be stored in a regulated environment.

Third, data retrieval from DNA is still slower than retrieving data from electronic storage systems.

Fourth, DNA data storage necessitates the use of specific equipment and qualified workers. These drawbacks are anticipated to be reduced as technology advances and becomes more widely available.

DNA Data Storage Companies

Several companies are now working on DNA Data Storage technology, however they are still in the very early stages of development and are looking for financing so that further study can be done.

  1. Catalog – $9.3 million in funding
  2. Evonetix – $14 million in funding
  3. DNA Script – $24 million in funding
  4. Twist Bioscience – $253 million from 24 different investors
  5. Microsoft Research

State of this technology

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While this isn’t now feasible because to the current level of DNA synthesis and sequencing, these technologies are fast improving as the biotech sector progresses.

Overall, DNA offers a lot of promise as a data storing medium. It’s dense, durable, and error-proof. While it currently confronts various hurdles, they are expected to diminish as the technology evolves.

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