martes, 12 de mayo de 2015

STORING INFORMATION IN DNA ...



Living things have been storing information in DNA since the dawn of life, including the instructions for building every human, animal, bacterium and plant. The molecule itself looks like a twisting ladder, whose rungs are made of four molecules called bases that pair up in specific ways, adenine ( A ) with thymine ( T ), and cytosine ( C ) with guanine ( G ). If you can create your own strands of DNA, with the ones and zeroes of binary data converted into these As, Gs, Cs and Ts, you have a storage medium that will never go obsolete. Sequencing machines will continue to improve and will need to be replaced, but once information is stored in DNA, that´s that.

In terms of information density, DNA outclasses anything we´ve been able to invent. A single gram can contain as much data as 3 million CDs.

And once encoded into DNA, information is a doddle to copy. To transfer the contents of one hard disk into another, you need to hook both of them up to a computer and wait for minutes or hours. To transfer the contents of a tube of DNA, you dissolve it in water, suck up some of the liquid into a pipette, and squeeze it into another tube. It takes seconds ...