The quest to squeeze more and more data into ever smaller spaces continues, but current materials and techniques have their limits. One day in the not too distant future we will reach the limits of current hard drive technology.
So where do we look for the next storage breakthrough? If you ask researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong they’d say we need to look for a living solution, more specifically bacteria. In fact, they’ve already achieved it, managing to store 90GB of data in 1 gram of cells.
The team has developed a massively parallel bacterial storage system that also achieves data encryption through DNA shuffling. An encoding system takes the original data, turns it into a quaternary number, and then encodes it as a DNA sequence. Encryption is achieved through DNA sequence shuffling. That process also involves compressing the data to allow for more storage within the same sequence.