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2013
06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

2012
12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

2011
12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

2010
12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

2009
12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

2008
12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

2007
12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

2006
08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs


Vol. 8, No. 5, May 31, 2013
ISSN 1932-3018

DNA mass information store
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
  Output
Matter
(M)
Energy
(E)
Information
(I)
A
C
T
I
O
N
Process
Transport
Storage
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a potential novel use of DNA - as a general storage media not necessarily associated with genetic use. In terms of the functionality grid it is concerned with storing information (I).
Technology explorers are on the lookout for better ways of storing information.

They seek a medium that:

  • Increases the functional performance metric (FPM) for storage devices - e.g., bits per cubic millimeter
  • Has a long life
  • Uses an appropriate code
A Tech Alert published by Spectrum, "Reading and writing a book with DNA" August 23, 2012, documents the storage of a 53000 word book using DNA. To read the book requires the use of gene-sequencing technology. According to Spectrum genetic storage has a far higher FPM than flash memory, or even experimental memories such as quantum holography. As to the life of DNA, it has been pointed out that archaeologists have retrieved 7000 year old DNA from human remains.
In the scale of present innovations these performance metrics place DNA at a superior level to other available procedures. The question to be asked is what efforts are being invested to use this superior performance in an industrial setting?
There is a rich harvest. For example: The logical next step is to use strands of DNA synthesized by a machine. This will store large amounts of information on strands of material too small to see. [Weintraub, K., "The newest data-storage device? DNA". USA Today, January 23, 2013.] Also DNA has been retrieved from a woolly mammoth dead for 20000 years. Furthermore, DNA provides the opportunity to use a persistent code. "...since all life on Earth is made of DNA we should have the capacity to read that information regardless of how the technology changes over the next millennia."
On the NASA nine point scale, this technology has a technology readiness level (TRL) of 2 to 3. Because of the outstanding technological characteristics of DNA, technology explorers should anticipate a burgeoning of interest in this field.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.