With the increase in technological development, storage becomes an issue that everyone has to deal with on some scale.
However, despite the speed and high capacity of current storage technologies, the problem of decay is yet to be solved.
What this means is that despite the efficiency of storing data, current storage solutions cannot guarantee that the data will remain safe for extended periods of time.
This problem has caused researchers to explore alternative storage solutions that stray from traditional technologies in both their storing technique and medium.
One of these technologies is the ability to store information on strands of Synthetic DNA. These custom made DNA molecules are designed specifically for long term storage.
The preference for DNA based storage comes from the fact that DNA can safely store information for thousands of years, which is something current technologies can’t match.
Leading this initiative is Microsoft, who recently set a new record for this type of storage, by storing 200 megabytes of data on strands of synthetic DNA.
While this may not seem much compared to regular storage solutions like Hard Disks, SSD’s and Blu-ray, it still is 20 times the capacity set by the previous record.
The DNA used for this experiment was created by a San Francisco based startup, called Twist Biosciences. Microsoft used this DNA to store various audio and text based content including but not limited to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the top 100 public domain books.
The aim of the company is to keep expanding on this capacity so that one day DNA based storage would become as cheap, if not cheaper than current storage solutions when it comes to long term data safety.