TECH
01/26/2011 09:07 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Scientists Discover How To Store Data In Bacteria

Researchers at Hong Kong's Chinese University have found what might be the safest way to store data: not in a safe, not in the cloud, but in bacteria.

Biostorage, the term for storing and encrypting information in organisms, has only existed for close to a decade, but scientists say the method could soon allow for text, images, music, or even video to be "recorded" in E. Coli, according to Discovery.

By encoding data in bacterial DNA, the information has a virtually limitless lifespan. As each bacteria reproduces, the data could be copied thousands of times. By mapping E. Coli's DNA, that data can be easily found and isolated.

Perhaps more importantly however, bacteria isn't susceptible to intrusion.

"Bacteria can't be hacked," Allen Yu, a student instructor, told Discovery.

"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 data can be split into chunks and distributed between different bacterial cells, which helps overcome any storage space issues.

The most amazing part? Capacity.

Just one gram of data-storing bacteria could hold the same amount of data as up to 450, 2,000 GB hard drives, according to Computerworld.

In addition, researchers have also developed a three-tier security fence to safeguard the data, and created an encoding mechanism that ensures the data can't be disturbed by mutations in bacterial cells.