FOSSILIZING DNA IS HOW WE CAN STORE DATA FOREVER
You’ve likely heard all about advancements in Data Storage… in fact, one of our first articles since the website redesign was about data storage in crystals, about how a new kind of quartz glass could infuse data which would last for an incredibly long amount of time.
One of the challenges they experienced was the amount of data that was being stored wasn’t all very big… And whilst they were experimenting with “superman-crystals”,with terabytes and terabytes of data for millions of years, the process was still in research and development, and was likely a ridiculously expensive thing… not ready for consumer-town at all.
And before that technology could even really see the light of day, now there is new information and research that is basically blowing all of that out of the water, in favor of using DNA as a storage medium.
Now, common problems with this in the past has been that DNA is an incredibly receptive structure. It is alive, it flows, moves, and interacts with its environment. And thus, it is subject to change with the environment.
The DNA of Wood changes when the wood burns, you know?
So to overcome this problem, Dr. Robert Grass, a lecturer at ETH Zurich’s Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences looked to ancient fossils that have stored DNA successfully for millions and millions of years in the surface of the earth…
Low and Behold, there was the answer.
“Similar to these bones, we wanted to protect the information-bearing DNA with a synthetic ‘fossil’ shell,” explains Grass.
In order to do that, his team encapsulated the DNA in silica spheres with a diameter of roughly 150 nanometres. The researchers encoded Switzerland’s Federal Charter of 1291 and The Methods of Mechanical Theorems by Archimedes in the DNA. […]
The DNA encapsulated in the glass shell turned out to be particularly robust. Through the use of a fluoride solution, it could be easily separated from the silica glass, and the information read from it
WHY IS IT RELEVANT?!
For me, the value of this information is really two-fold.
The first and probably the most relevant is that our ability to create will bridge the first Infinity wall that we seem to be hitting. We are feeling all of this limitation on earth today. Limited resources, limited storage space, limited lifespans, limited energy. All of these limits propel us into the future to create better and more amazing things! If we can get this down, we will bridge our first massive limitation of what we are capable of doing with computers and blow it out of the water.
We can change the rules of the game if we change the technology platform that the game runs on, and I can imagine that this would be a critical technology in changing our tech platform.
If you’re getting upset that nobody is going to do it and we’ll never see that technology… I understand the feeling. I feel it too, and it compels me to do something about it. My close family of friends and I are working very hard on making it happen, and I know that we are not the only sphere of people working on projects that will result in the expansion and growth of our technologies.
If we all work on it, and we can come together and merge with each other, we can really make a big difference, and fast.
The second reason… well… It’s sort of an excitement, a rush of bold exhilarating energy that wants to scream with joy and truth to all of the dead-asleep people in the world: “OH MY GOD! LOOK AT WHAT WE CAN DO WITH DNA! DO YOU SEE HOW AMAZING HUMANKIND IS?! DO YOU SEE HOW AWESOME YOU ARE?! YOU CAN DO THAT STUFF!! YOU CAN LEARN HOW AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!”
And that’s how this article came to a close.
By Jordan Pearce