If you took everything human beings have ever written - an estimated 50 billion megabytes of text - and stored it in DNA, that DNA would still weigh less than a granola bar.
"There's no problem with holding a lot of information in DNA," Goldman says. "The problem is paying for doing that."
Agilent waived the cost of DNA synthesis for this project, but the researchers estimate it would normally cost about $12,400 per megabyte.
Goldman and other scientists who are dabbling in DNA storage know that DNA synthesis costs are dropping rapidly. In a decade or so, they say it may be more cost effective for large companies to keep a DNA archive than to maintain and update a roomful of hard drives.
Technical Information Specialist
Technical Resource Center
USACE Little Rock District