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Scientists store data in bacteria

by on27 January 2011


Pave way for mp3 flu
Well, not really the mp3 flu part but scientists at Hong Kong's Chinese University have found that bacteria Escherichia Coli, a common inhabitant of humans who tend to eat godawful food, is one mean medium for long term storage.

The information tags along the DNA as additional information and since these single cell bacteria reproduce constantly, it allows for longevity of any stored data. Aldrin Yim, a student instructor on the project, said:”This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long term in a box of bacteria in the refrigerator".

Furthermore, the researchers found means of storing larger chunks of files by compressing data, splitting it into parts and storing it between different bacterial cells. Apparently, they can “map” the DNA and the data can easily be located.

It is said that one gram of bacteria could store as much as 450 2,000GB disks, which does seem tempting. Indeed, such capacity would make it somewhat of a great medium, albeit not a very portable one. That is, unless you intend to eat it.

Escherichia Coli is usually found in human intestines and some of its strands aren’t quite human friendly. Namely, some cause food poisoning. In this case however, eating some would make you infected with your Black Eyed Peas MP3 collection. Talk about efficient and permanent storage, eh?

Last modified on 28 January 2011
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