So what happens when the fungi and bacteria replicate? Does the data replicate too? Organic RAID???
Researchers also say that DNA makes great data storage medium
Signal processing is currently performed by mostly digital means involving mathematics and other techniques to manipulate signals that make up things like images and sound waves. A pair of researchers sees this sort of signal processing in the future being done by non-digital means.
Specifically researchers Sotirios Tsaftaris and Aggelos Katsaggelos see signal processing being performed with organic and chemical materials without any electrical current. Digital signal processing is currently used in all sorts of common electronic devices we use very day like iPods, cell phones or flat screen TVs.
Over the past decade, researchers have experimented with performing signal processing using materials like chemicals that react only when light is projected through them. The idea with this method of signal processing is that you project light through a transparency image and the chemicals in the solution record the image. The chemicals are then stimulated by light along with controlling the acidity of the mixture and can perform basic image transformation like contour enhancement.
One researcher, Cameron Jones, used CDs as a substrate on which to grow fungi. Jones says that the fungi growth was dependent on the optical groves in the CD and that when the CD was played back the sound was distorted.
Tsaftaris says, â€œThe bacteria reacted to the recorded information, and the audio track was 'processed' by the grown fungus. That is essentially bacterial signal processing."
Tsaftaris and Katsaggelos see more potential in using bacteria and other organic means for processing signals. The pair also studied the use of DNA for signal processing and found that DNA can be used as input and processing elements and that DNA is a very good medium for data storage.
The researchers say that digital samples can be recorded in the DNA, which can then be kept in a liquid form inside test tubes to save space. The researchers also claim that the database using DNA as a storage medium would be easily searchable no matter how large it is.
DailyTech reported in early March 2008 that a group of Japanese researchers was also researching bacteria as a data storage medium.