DNA data storage technology | microsoft dna storage

DNA data storage technology

Storing data is a huge concern for humanity in these days. Why we are talking about data storage ? actually currently we are going through a huge problem which is about data storage, we are producing data exponentially day by day, for example; a camera making 10mbps in 2010, after some years right now a camera  making 100mbps. Producing data becoming rocket with the time.

At that time around 2010, if we had 25 gb data storage it was enough for us but in the current situation even 250 gb data storage is not enough for us. The actual fact is, the speed of creating data is more than the speed of making data storage. After some days we will be at a position where we will create data but there will be no storage to store that data.

We don’t have any long term data storage till now. Any govt , pvt data storage or super computers data stores in tape storage. Tape storage technology is mechanical based that’s why it requires servicing and maintenance in a period of time and after 10 years or 15 years it replaced with the new one. Because the tape is made with magnet, after the working duration of the tapes the magnetic grain structure destroys.

Hard disk can survive 5 to 7 years, optical disk can go longer but it has not more storage. Till now we have nothing that can store whole the whole internet in a single storage in long term. In current situation the giant companies like YouTube, Google, and Facebook etc are using tape storage technology, which is very costly and required maintenance time to time. Huge electric power and also man power getting wasted to running this kind of data storing plant.

We actually want that type of data storage technology where we can put data and can forgot for many years, which we already had in the previous days reel storage.  Reel storage also has some limitations , after some years reels self degrades slowly as time passes and at the end it also stops working. Movies stored in reels past 100 years ago are still available. Also a problem with reel storage that, we can’t store digital data in the reel storage.

So some people come with an idea about DNA, the best thing about DNA that it is digital which means it has a clear state. DNA has 4 discrete states which is C G A T.DNA also already surviving from million years and transferring data from one to another, so we have a clear idea that it is already time tested, it can easily survive with the time. It is the only data storing system which can survive millions of years.

How data stored in DNA

DNA is made with millions of molecular chain like phosphor, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen. These molecules are makes small blocks which are C G A T and these blocks arrange together in a particular order a makes a complete DNA. Data can be stored in the DNA by changing the order of C G A T code base order. DNA is too small element just 2.5 nm wide, for your understanding purpose, in just 2 gm of DNA can store the whole YouTube data.

Working of DNA data storage

When some data stored digitally it creates a digital form of data made with 0,1 binary code, here in this DNA data storage technology kind of same thing happens in the form of C G A T four bits of data, where A represents 00, G represents 01, C represents 10, T  represents 11.

Image Source - Google | Image by - Shaan Ray

DNA data reading process

DNA data sequencing machine can decode encoded data in DNA only one time. As the data is the well arranged structural material of DNA so to read this data structural elements need to be opened one by one. Once the data reading is over, DNA is destroyed. To overcome this type of one time readable problem, many copies are made of DNA.

Many people are already storing their crypto currency wallet in DNA data. But the thing is that they cannot read the DNA data, they just paying some DNA data decoding lab to read the DNA data through DNA sequencing machine for them. If you have a loaded pocket so you can definitely go for DNA data storage.

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Some real use example of DNA data storage

First demo created in 2015 with just 2 MB of data (One pdf, mp3 and one image file) encoded in DNA.And then in the year 2019 June, 16 GB of Wikipedia was successfully encoded into the DNA data.

This DNA data storage technology has not finalized and standardized globally, so there is many things about DNA data storage technology that need to be finalized and standardized.

Microsoft data storage

Microsoft is already working with this technology, they are making a system where they are going to provide the whole package from data encoding to decoding including cloning. As this is the initial stage so the bit rate of data is too slow at this stage, definitely it will increase in the future, you can thing this as a 1st gen technology, this technology has huge progress in the near future.


  1. This post is so useful and valuable to increase our knowledge. I am happy that you have shared great info with us. Grateful to you for sharing an article like this.Storage

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