Scientists have talked about using organic material to run computing devices for years, but I had never heard of using bacteria for storage. Additionally, I never thought it would have so many potential upsides. First, scientists postulate that one gram of bacteria could store the equivalent of 450, 2,000 gigabyte hard disks (or 9,000 terabytes of data). What is even more interesting to me though is how it could improve data security.
They have also developed a three-tier security fence to encode the data, which may come as welcome news to U.S. diplomats, who have seen their thoughts splashed over the Internet thanks to WikiLeaks.
“Bacteria can’t be hacked,” points out Allen Yu, another student instructor.
“All kinds of computers are vulnerable to electrical failures or data theft. But bacteria are immune from cyber attacks. You can safeguard the information.”
The team have even coined a word for this field — biocryptography — and the encoding mechanism contains built-in checks to ensure that mutations in some bacterial cells do not corrupt the data as a whole.
This is the sort of technology that seems prime to eventually replace data storage facilities, but I would really be fascinated to see how they would integrate this in our cellphones or laptops.