We Could Back Up The Entire Internet On A Gram Of DNA

If you think about it, DNA is basically nature’s
hard drive. You are the result of a three-dimensional
computer program, written in tiny compounds wound up inside the nucleus of all your cells. It’s a set of instructions, coded and saved
that our bodies write and read to build proteins, construct cells, and perform thousands of
other tasks. Genetic engineering is basically us trying
to hack our own hard drives, and we’re learning more about the possibilities of accomplishing
this every day. But, way back in 1964, a Soviet Physicist
named Mikhail Neiman concocted the idea that we could use the compact, efficient, storage
system of DNA to store not nature’s code but whatever we wanted! So far, we’ve been able to decypher parts
of nature’s DNA programming… a gene here, a few lines of the code there. We haven’t decoded all of this yet, but
scientists do understand how the storage system works now. Meaning, we’re real close to putting whatever
pictures or files we want into DNA-storage. I know that sounds crazy, and it is. But it’s possible. In 2013 scientists proved they could write
computer data into synthetic DNA with 0 errors! There’s a lot there, so let’s unpack that. First: They had to teach the computer to speak
DNA… Machine language is binary, zeros and ones,
while DNA is A, T, G, and C. I emailed with Bill Peck, CTO of Twist Bioscience (they make
synthetic DNA). And he explained how they convert from binary
to DNA code. Basically, like anything in tech these days,
they use an algorithm. The nice thing is, even though DNA only pairs
A with T and G with C — these letters can also be reversed, AT and TA are different
— this means the data is more dense; there’s more data in less space! The algorithm does all that translation for
them. Then they had to create a piece of DNA that
reflected the computer data. It’s the same DNA that you’d find in your
cells, but they made it in a lab. Peck described it as “similar to stacking
four colors of Lego bricks into segments.” Yes, it really is that simple. To get the data back out of the DNA, scientists
would sequence it just like they would with any other piece of DNA that showed up in a
lab. And the whole reason they want to do this
in the first place is they can put a LOT of data into a tiny space. With a bit of chemistry and a bit of computer
engineering, this synthetic DNA can store data for say — a trip to Mars, or for long-term
storage of any kind! Stretched out, the DNA molecule can be three
meters long, but wound up, it’s tiny. This alone makes it an ideal long-term storage
system. But on top of that, hard drives, CDs, flash
drives or tape backups (commonly used by major data centers) all need special climate-controlled
facilities, with constant maintenance. Meanwhile, DNA can survive with minimal effort
under a rock for millennia. A paper in Science showed a single gram of
DNA can store 215 petabytes of data. The equivalent to all the space in 420,000
of the most expensive MacBooks on the market. But Peck believes the upper limit is higher. One. Zettabyte. That is a LOT of data. It’s 1.1 trillion gigabytes. All the internet traffic in the whole world
in 2016 added up to 1.1 zettabytes. If you filled the iPhone 7 with that data,
you’d need 8.6 billion iPhones. Stacked together like dominos, they would
go around the planet 1.5 times. This could theoretically fit in ONE GRAM of
DNA. The problem is, DNA storage is just too expensive,
and takes too long right now. But while in 2013 they could encode a few
hundred kilobytes, now in 2017 we’re talking zettabytes. Someday, the molecules that make up all life
as we know it, could be storing backups of the cat videos and tweets and snaps that you
definitely didn’t save. Or storing all vital human knowledge in case
of… well, pick your favorite apocalypse. Special thanks to Twist Bioscience for their
help on this episode. And additional thanks to our sponsor, Domain
dot com. When you buy a domain name from Domain Dot
Com, you’re taking the first steps in creating an identity and vision for your brand. No domain extension will help tell your story
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domain names and web hosting when you use coupon code SEEKER at checkout. It’s been a few days since we started our
new look, what do you guys think? If you don’t know why we did it, watch this
video. Let us know down in the comments and if you
have a science question, drop that down there as well. Thanks for watching, please take a second
and subscribe and come fine me on Twitter @tracedominguez .

100 thoughts on “We Could Back Up The Entire Internet On A Gram Of DNA

  1. So in case you've also thought, "but isn't DNA harmed by UV and other radiation?" I asked that too, it just didn't make the final cut. Twist Bioscience's answer: "[DNA] is so small you can easily encapsulate huge amounts of data in small vessels like Tungsten. For example, you could take all the information for a mars colony on a spacecraft inside a small Tungsten thimble."

    Essentially, the problem we have with our DNA is that it's stored in cells, which aren't great at keeping radiation out. If we wanted to store DNA data for thousands of years we could 1. make lots of copies and/or 2. store it in something that keeps out radiation! Very cool.

  2. Well Nature is infinitely more effective that my gaming pc.I'm just download GTA 5 on my skin cells and play in my eyes (Im assuming 4K) resolution.

  3. Zettabytes….hmmm, that's a whole lot of data to be stored on something that was supposedly created by a random series of mutations entirely free of any design by intelligence. But yet humans who consider ourselves to be highly intelligent have yet to completely understand DNA. We're just beginning to scratch the surface. Our best data storage is stone-age technology compared to DNA. Things that make you go "Hmmm."

  4. Hi,.can you you guys make a playlist about dna and cells? I know you have some dna videos and it would be great if i can access them more easily

  5. So if they can write code to DNA and then read it back, why not just read our DNA the same way? Maybe it’s simple?

  6. In movies like enders game that advanced species looked like it used organic technology.
    I wonder if nature it really is more advanced than our puny human tech.

    Yes i know… its just a movie.

  7. Yo I’m not high or anything but what if we’re just god’s AI in his matrix and he made us hoping we would surpass him just like we’re trying to make AI that are faster than us, we power computer with wire of electricity and his are the star we see, I mean they create an enormous amount of energy but we’ve yet to learn how to harvest it, so we’re always getting a constant amount of energy it just we don’t know how to use it yet and the more people we have doing research the faster the calculation or answer to solving things just like we’re predicting an AI to be doing calculations and solving problems faster than we can… nah maybe there was weed in those brownies

  8. Three issues with using DNA to store code.

    One = It will create life in ways that most don't see. Such as living creatures that will lead to new life all by mistake because if a program gets too complex it will become alive. Unless we put in safeguards to stop our programs from doing shit we don't want them to do.

    Two = Ones that are coded to rip us apart and end all life on earth. Like a custom virus or whatever. Bad shit right there.

    Three = If we use hologram storage methods to write and store code in virtual DNA. We will hit the point that the system will be so damn large that it will end up in the creation of a self-contained digital universe. And end up mind fucking a lot of people at the fact we created a universe. Digital yes. But real. For them anyway LOL. And that just would end up making us look at ours and wonder if someone did that shit to us and that's how we got here lol.

    Creepy shit. Cool. But creepy.

  9. we hnow only 5 procent of human DNA the rest it unknown may be in the future the humans could be able to decoded all our dna gene secvence ,and have the knowledge of our reall purpose why we are here and who are our creators realy ?

  10. I don't exactly buy the "DNA is like a hard drive" analogy. I think DNA is more like the computer code.

  11. We created a webapp that allows you to create .dna files.
    Just upload any file and get .dna file

  12. God is everything. God exists within us all. Praise to the all mighty. Lord guide my mind that which guides my hands to do your work. He lives so we live. Amen.

  13. Everything would be gone in seconds. It will be all useless because destroyed. No need for storage because everything new.

  14. Only three kind of primates evolved and they were integrated to the mongoose and worms to form all the animals of the world we see today.

  15. I'm so absolutely amazed how in the big bang mindless particles randomly bumped into each other causing a domino of chemical reactions that lead to consciousness and extremely sophisticated forms of life with the ability to comprehend the universe!

  16. But if nature tries to construct the internet's DNA, it would look something like when Squidward fused with the whole cast of spongebob

  17. So who wrote the DNA ? Please don't ignore this problem.

    Science and Religion are philosophies on both sides of the same COIN. (The old name of Science was the Philosophy of Nature)
    Both require FAITH. There is nothing absolute in Science.
    We can observe and investigate mostly only matter which is only less than 5% of the universe, except for dark matter and dark energy. It means, we practically don't know anything about the universe.

    Anyone who becomes seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that there is a spirit manifest in the laws of the universe, a spirit vastly superior to that of man. – Albert Einstein

    All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force. We must assume behind this force is the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the MATRIX of all matter – Max Planck, Father of Quantum Physics

    Science cannot explain consciousness. Doing an experiment that involves a human being in the loop will collapse the wave function. The observer destroys the experiment. Therefore, there is no objective reality.
    When one does an experiment, the data is always random and can't be quantified in a repeatable and reliable mathematical formula. "As far as the laws of Mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality." – Albert Einstein

    Knowing a little science may lead one to atheism, but knowing more science will lead one to religion.
    Superficial knowledge of philosophy inclines one to atheism while more knowledge of philosophy inclines one toward religion. – Francis Bacon
    ~ the "father" of the scientific method"
    ~ ”Father of Experimental Science".
    ~ a philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution. He has been called the father of empiricism. His works established and popularised inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

  18. "Why do people cling with such ferocity to the belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the illusion of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism."
    ~ Richard Conn Henry is an Academy Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, author of one book and over 200 publications on the topics of astrophysics and various forms of astronomy.
    ~ Alain Aspect is a French physicist noted for his experimental work on quantum entanglement.

    Believing in a deity doesn't mean one has to belong to some religious sect. God has nothing to do with religion. Why do people have to equate god with religion ?
    Following and Believing in a scientific theory makes it no different than religion …it all requires Faith until the day comes that they are refuted by new discoveries … and science does it every day.

  19. It almost sounds like their talking about genetic editing because there saying they are close to put files whatever they want into DNA but that sounds really awesome.😁

  20. Something tells me we shouldn't make computers out of synthetic dna. Especially artificially intelligent dna. Our dna mutated why wouldn't that?

  21. You couldn't store the entire internet in this. Youtube alone uses 15 petabytes of storage (low estimate, they do not disclose actual numbers). Not to mention all the private servers (like the ones I own). I get it click bait and all but yeah

  22. Lmao what if a previous civilisation on earth did this and there was an unavoidable extinction level event so they made a backup of everything in a titanium box coated in lead and we just haven't found it yet

  23. Plot twist: the so-called "junk DNA" in our genes is actually some ancient advanced civilization's entire history's backup.

  24. Hehe and people say there is no god yet dna is literally like code that's been written as in it was designed, considered and written

  25. if we make AI Terminator robots that have their data stored on DNA, would that make them living creatures? especially cause they have to constantly create and reconstruct cells in order to survive

  26. Um DNA can replicate it self too CPU self repairing anti bodies white blood cells against cp virus.

    Just don't use human DNA any virus addapted is danger to humans .

  27. Hi friend,
    I was want to translate this video to Arabic language , plz Open it
    I cant Add any other language
    than you for your time

  28. I can’t wait to see how some people think that this is unethical and ruin this amazing concept for everyone “don’t you just love morality sometimes”
    BTW amazing video 10/10

  29. This is Superman type shit. Remember in the movie "Man of steel"? Superman had codes, written in his DNA. The codes were supposed to be for cloning his entire race.

  30. @ 1:32, I love what you are saying… A and T … and T and A those are different. Most men I know would be happy with either. Yep, I just had to go there.

  31. Very interesting and informing. Thumbs up, nice video & I did subscribe. Looking forward to viewing many more of your videos. Thanks.

  32. 2:50, That's a useless example because even MacBooks don't use a standard amount of storage in the same generation, and they have multiple generations. Besides, "the most expensive" could change tomorrow. Just stick with a data storage amount in bits or bytes with a prefix; you do it in the very next sentence.

    3:10, Again, another useless way to give people an example. You'd be better off referencing flash drives or HDD/SSD with a standard amount of data. It is brand irrelevant and prevents you from dating the information too extremely. Then again, if you only use Apple products, I can see how this wouldn't seem like a more logical way to convey this information.

  33. Thanks! I haven't analysed it yet, but it sounds to me as if there's at least the possibility that DNA could provide a hexadecimal code; not just a binary one. This would mean that a simple machine language algorithm could provide direct translation. That would simplify the process (unless I'm mistaken, of course!) Anyway, there's certainly a lot of potential there! Rikki Tikki.

  34. So you telling me that the universe in capable of out thinking a human? If it is then how can you trust science? And you telling me that there is no intellegent design?

  35. He just explained the core of our simulated universe. I think it strongly confirms the theory that we live in a computer

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