Microsoft which purchased around 10 million strands of synthetic DNA for data archival experiment in may 2016 is now seeing immense success in its experimentation. The software giant in collaboration with University of Washington announced that it stored a recording breaking 200 MB of data onto a single strand of molecular DNA.
The data uploaded onto the DNA strand includes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights translated in more than 100 languages, the top 100 classic books from the free e-book site Project Gutenberg, a seed database from the non-profit Crop trust, and Band Ok Go’s Rube Goldberg inspired music – This too shall pass”.
Microsoft says that there are couple of advantages storing data on DNA. Firstly, it can stay intact for more than 500 years and the second is that the storage ability can become denser in coming days. The Redmond giant says that DNA has the capability to fit all of the data stored in Google’s more than 68,000 square foot data center into one sugar cube.
Also the company claims that DNA has the ability to store all the data existing on internet into a device that is in size of a shoe box.
FYI, Microsoft isn’t the only company striving to store data on DNA. A group of Hayward university researchers are also on the same mission since 2012 and have succeeded to store around 22 MB of data on a single strand of DNA so far. In 2013, the European Bioinformatics Institute also copied 739 kilobytes of data into DNA, including Martin Luther King Junior’s “I have a Dream” speech.
The day this technology becomes widely available that too on an economic note, it has the ability to put an end to technologies such as optical drives, hard disks and tape mediums. If this happens, then data centers in future will get rid of all the archives stored on tape, SAN and Scale OUT NAS arrays and will instead witness DNA as primary storage media.