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Bacteria to replace hard drives in the future

Using bacterial storage instead of traditional hard drives means storage durability could be increased ten-fold

Computer hard drives may be replaced by bacteria in the future, Japanese scientists claim. It sounds far fetched, but the bacteria technology exists already. It uses a bacterial DNA as a medium for long-term storage.

The idea is to create an artificial DNA that can carry data. Multiple copies of information will be programmed into the DNA to prevent data loss through natural degradation, and the data will then be inserted into the bacterial genome sequence.

The main benefit of the bacterial storage technology, if proven to work satisfactorily, is that the data would propagate from generation to generation with the bacteria, according to the group of scientists at Keio University .

This would give it a considerably longer durability than today's storage media, and could be a solution to the looming problem of having enough storage space for the world's data.

Current methods for storing data are estimated to last for around 100 years but, with bacterial storage data, could last 10 times as long - for thousands of years.

The research results have recently been published in the electronic edition of Biotechnology Progress .