A major new paper claims that we could use DNA for something that could totally revolutionize the future of humankind.
Scientists have just made what could be one of the biggest advancements ever in the history of DNA, at least in terms of practical uses of this building block of life. Researchers at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Scientists have just figured out a way to store a computer operating system and even a short movie on a strand of DNA.
Computer engineering has certainly come a long way in the last few decades, going from computers that took up an entire room to tiny devices that can store huge libraries of music, movies and information and can be held in the palm of your hand. But scientists may have one-upped that by figuring out a way to store information on a strand of DNA.
DNA’s ability to store data is well-documented. After all, it stores all of our “computer coding,” defining every bit of who we are and how we operate. And the whole genome of an organism could fit into a cell that would only be visible under a microscope. Talk about compact.
“DNA won’t degrade over time like cassette tapes and CDs, and it won’t become obsolete–if it does, we have bigger problems,” said study coauthor Yaniv Erlich, a computer science professor at Columbia Engineering, a member of Columbia’s Data Science Institute, and a core member of the NYGC. “We believe this is the highest-density data-storage device ever created.”