The Forever Drive

photo courtesy of cnn.com

photo courtesy of cnn.com

USB drives can last a while from 5 to10 years but with this new scientific breakthrough they can last for an eternity. Already a storage company called Backblaze is running 25,000 hard drives simultaneously to get to the bottom of the question. As each hard drive coughs its last, the company replaces it and logs its lifespan.While this census has only been running five years, the statistics show a 22% attrition rate over four years.Some may last longer than a decade, the company says, others may last little more than a year; but the short answer is that storage devices don’t last forever, reported cnn.com

The scientific community are now looking to nature, for the best way to keep some of our most precious data for thousands of years.

Researchers at ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, believe the answer may lie in the data storage system that exists in every living cell: DNA.So compact and complex are its strands that just 1 gram of DNA is theoretically capable of containing all the data of internet giants such as Google and Facebook, with room to spare.In data storage terms, that gram would be capable of holding 455 exabytes, where one exabyte is equivalent to a billion gigabytes, stated sciencemag.org.

Fossilization has been known to preserve DNA in strands long enough to gain an animal’s entire genome — the complete set of genes present in a cell or organism.So far, scientists have extracted and sequenced the genome of a 110,000-year-old polar bear and more recently a 700,000-year-old horse, reported krtv.com