FIT ALL OF THE WORLD'S HARD DRIVES ONTO SOMETHING SMALLER THAN YOUR PINKY TOE!!! Don't believe me? Recently, Harvard gurus were able to print a book 70 billion times on a single gram of DNA ( 700 terabytes of data ). To put that in perspective, you can cram 1.8 sextillion bytes of information into 4 grams of DNA ( that's the total data storage of all the computer hard drives in the world in 2011 ! ! ! ) With that idea in mind, I thought it would be fun to demonstrate the simplicity of the encoding process with a web program. (IMPORTANT: This converted DNA code would only work in the real world with pure DNA synthesis, and takes some extra encoding steps before you could print it to real DNA like they did at Harvard) The conversion is simple. DNA is made up of some simple building blocks: guanine (G), cytosine (c), adenine (a), and thymine (T). The idea behind storing digital data in DNA is simply setting G and T equal to one with c and a equal to zero (GT = 1, ac = 0). So all you have to do is convert your data to binary first (10110011), and then into genetic code (GaTTacTG).
There is only one way to encode 'a' to binary: 10110001. However, there are 256 ways to encode 'a' to DNA: cGTaaacG or aTTacccT or aTGaaccG to name a few. This program picks one of those 256 ways at random. That means there are probably millions of ways to encode your name, just as in the real world there are a million or more individuals with the name David. As the DNA code gets longer, the numbers of possible ways to say the same thing becomes virtually endless. Perhaps that means we have only begun to tap the potential for data storage on DNA! Or perhaps there is a way to encrypt uncrackable secret messages! One of the coolest things about encoding DNA is how stable it is. If you were to encode some simple information about yourself (i.e. name, birthday, birthplace, message to your wife or whatever) onto some DNA, people who decode it 400,000 years from now would still be able to read your message! Take that dead sea scrolls!
The question begs to be asked: when will we see this in my laptop? The answer: when we overcome some serious current technological
limitations. We will have to see radical advancements in our ability to read and write to DNA. For example, once Dr. Church and his collegues figured
out the process of encoding his book 'Regenesis' to DNA, it took him and a team of harvard scientists two weeks to write it and then read it using DNA squencing. . . I don't know about you, but I don't want to wait two weeks for my computer to boot up or bring up that college paper that's due tomorrow. Also with current technology, you have to destroy the DNA to read it. So what practical uses does this have for us today? Well, watch this video:
For further enlightenment on DNA watch these videos: