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Thread: genetic information storage

  1. #1 genetic information storage 
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    Was trolling the web and came across this anybody have any clue about it??

    Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram | ExtremeTech


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  3. #2  
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    Not a clue, but nifty news nonetheless.


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  4. #3  
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    If what you mean is how it works, it seems like it uses real DNA molecules to store data. DNA can be built (store) and sequenced (read). This allows for 2 bits of storage per nucleotide, so it would be tiny, but it seems really inefficient. To sequence DNA, first it must be copied more times than there are bases in each chunk being sequenced seperately. This uses 48 bases per group, so it would have to be copied far more than 2,200 times times.
    Each strand of DNA is built by adding nucleotides (in this contex, molecules which represent values) to the strand, in one direction. Some of the nucleotides are special. They stop the process of building the DNA. They also are dyed a specific color.
    The result of this process is many strands of the same DNA sequence, but ending at random points. There must be at least one strand stopping at each nucleotide, or else that nucleotide's value wouldn't be known.
    The next step is gell electrophoresis. The DNA is put into a gell, and attracted toward a charged end at the other side of the gell. The bigger the DNA strand is, the slower it will move. This means that, after a few hours, a streak of differently lengthed strands is created. Because they will each have a differently colored ending nucleotide, you can read the colors in order to sequence the DNA.
    This is very unpractical, because you need to copy it many times (which might take a long time, I dunno), then wait a few more hours for gell electrophoresis. This might be practical for a warehouse of information, but fetching data would cost the cost of many nucleotides. To fetch a terabyte would cost about 9 cents (at the price of a medical nucleotide mix I found online), plus the price of gells and some enzymes.
    This could become useful if genetic sequencing improves.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
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    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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  5. #4  
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    what if you werent fetching data but instead were adding data to target over replicating cells ie modded white blood cells. i am assuming by stop strand you are talking about the stop and start codons? Is the technique of using restriction enzymes really that slow?
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveworlds View Post
    what if you werent fetching data but instead were adding data to target over replicating cells ie modded white blood cells. i am assuming by stop strand you are talking about the stop and start codons? Is the technique of using restriction enzymes really that slow?
    I'm not really sure what you mean by the first sentence. Do you mean something other than for info tech?
    By stop strand, I mean single nucleotides which are different from normal nucleotides. They stop new nucleotides from being added to the strand (of DNA, not a protein.)
    I think it is. Maybe not for specifically cutting the DNA, but the entire process takes hours.

    Probably skipped over some details my bio teacher skipped.
    "It is the ability to make predictions about the future that is the crux of intelligence."
    -Jeff Hawkins.
    For example, you can predict that 3+5=8. You can predict what sequence of muscle commands you should generate during a conversation, or whether an object is a desk or a chair. The brain is very complicated, but that is essentially how intelligence works. Instinct, emotions, and behavior are somewhat seperate.
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