Resistion-Early days yet. Retention keep it close to your body its perfect environment. Its easy to replicate nature and evolution has taken care of that so in theory almost unlimited retention. Who wants to store all the data ever generated in the world in a motor vehicle that niche market must be left to others for the moment.
I thought you would be more interested in the ability of the bio-chemist to produce and resolve 10nm diameter clusters while the semiconductor industry struggles (see my final figure). Might be some lessons to be learned there for those struggling with sub-10nm lithography.
Jim I raised your question with Yaniv Erlich, PhD Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University Core Member, New York Genome Center, who replied as follows:
Pathogenic DNA sequences are highly complex. Even tiny viruses such as HIV need a sequence of 10000 nucleotides (nt) and also require additional machinery (e.g. capsid) to execute their pathogenic function and very specific environment (stuffiest level of viral load, contact with the right tissue, etc).
DNA storage is based on short DNA fragments that are only 200nt long, much shorter than the smallest viruses. Just this will effectively eliminate pathogenic reactions. Moreover, the probability of getting a viral genome by random chance is ~ 4^10,000, which is extremely small even after writing a lot of data.
Finally, for DNA to encode a harmful organism, it needs to be translated into protein sequences. Proteins are the building blocks of molecular machines from toxins to viral capsids. For such translation to occur, the DNA needs to have a specific combination of letters at the beginning of the segment and a specific combination of letters at the end of the segment. As another layer of protection, we successfully tested (but not included in the paper), a step that screens the DNA droplets and only accepts droplets with DNA sequences that are cannot be translated into long proteins.
Hope it helps!" So Jim it looks as though we are pretty safe from any sort of DNA-Data Black Death Plague
Fascinating stuff, but I worry a little about DNA memories.
If you just create random DNA sequences willy-nilly isn't there a possibility that you will inadvertently create some DNA that, if accidentally released into the environment, might embody itself as some horrible disease?
I'm an electrical engineer. I may be missing some fundamental biological fact that renders this concern ridiculous.