from Xataka On

All the Data on Earth Can Fit in a Cup Full of DNA. This Is MIT’s Jurassic Park-Inspired Project

by Juan Carlos López

DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule of life. While there are other essential molecules for life as we know it, DNA holds a special significance because it contains the instructions that cells use to produce proteins or RNA (ribonucleic acid) molecules. DNA is also responsible for genetic inheritance. However, this is far from everything DNA can be used for.

Since the early days of computing, scientists have been intrigued by the idea of using DNA to encode and store information, similar to how it functions naturally within living organisms. However, they’ve encountered challenges in manipulating DNA and preserving it over time without degradation, making it difficult to recover stored information in perfect condition.

Chemist James Banal, Jeremiah Johnson, and other scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argue that DNA is the future of data storage. They also believe that DNA’s density is so high that it’d be possible to store all the information currently contained in all the computers and servers worldwide in a coffee cup if it were filled with DNA molecules. Because of the work of these scientists, we’re now closer than ever to achieving this goal.

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