DNA: The New Hard Drive?

richp007

Distinguished Member
Haven't seen a thread so far, but thought this was one of the more interesting stories in the news in recent days -

DNA: The Ultimate Hard Drive - ScienceNOW

Book written in DNA code | Science | The Guardian

It had never even crossed my mind that this was possible, and it reminds me of a sci-fi film I watched not too long ago. Maybe Virtuosity? Where humans were information carriers, and naturally some were more valuable than others. It may not have been that, but there's definitely something i've watched that is along those lines.

Interesting concept anyway. The application of the data to the strand is the stumbling block at the moment, but in time they hope to correct that. Crazy stuff.
 

maxwell

Distinguished Member
amazing stuff indeed and the film you are thinking of could be Johnny Mnemonic
 

EEC3

Well-known Member
Unless I'm missing something I find this staggering.

What are the cons? I'm guessing expense? The article I read doesn't seen to say why they aren't just mass producing DNA hard drives

It's late and I'm tired so probably obvious to others ...
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
The problem as with a number of these things is access.
How do you select which molecule to read or write?
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
EEC3 said:
Unless I'm missing something I find this staggering.

What are the cons? I'm guessing expense? The article I read doesn't seen to say why they aren't just mass producing DNA hard drives

It's late and I'm tired so probably obvious to others ...
Apologies that the links aren't the best. I will try and find some better sources of info.

The major con at the moment appears to be getting the data "uploaded". It is hideously slow. However they hope to rectify that in the future. I saw a snippet on the TV news, and they are looking to have things perfected within 10 years. Like you say, this is a staggering piece of science. I can't believe I'm not hearing more about it.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Unless I'm missing something I find this staggering.

What are the cons? I'm guessing expense? The article I read doesn't seen to say why they aren't just mass producing DNA hard drives

It's late and I'm tired so probably obvious to others ...
It's the speed of accessing the data, The seek time of your hard drive is what, less than 10ms? The seek time of these DNA "drives" is probably more of the order of less than 10 hours, so around 3 million times slower...
 

Toko Black

In Memoriam
It's the speed of accessing the data, The seek time of your hard drive is what, less than 10ms? The seek time of these DNA "drives" is probably more of the order of less than 10 hours, so around 3 million times slower...
The future aim would not just to have DNA as a storage medium, but potentially biomechanical processing using tailored genes to read, write and do calculations against gene logic gates.

Imagine encrypting DNA data with an individuals own DNA sequence that meant it could only be rebuilt inside them using molecular and genetic computers that are part of the individual.
Tailoring your own DNA to construct and store information, memories and knowledge you could pass down to the next generation to be rebuilt and decoded by your children. Adding the genetic building blocks of a genetic computer and the basic code into your own DNA sequence.

You could run your own biomechanical computer that could modify and adjust genes in your own body to regulate biological functions like insuline production, pain relief, reduce anxiety .... the potential is endless and both exciting and frightening at the same time :)
 
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