It has been some 20 years since scientists created the first complete reference human genome that contained approximately 3 billion DNA letters, but now some improvements are being suggested.
The first complete reference human genome has been added to over the years, with approximately two million additional variations of the code being included in the model. Now, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been discussing how that model could be placed into a storage system, but on a far larger scale. Musk replied to a tweet that provided a graph on the size of a human genome in data, which stated the human genome is 3.3 Gb in size, the HIV virus is only 9.7 kb, and the largest known vertebrate genome is 130 Gb.
Antonio Regalado, the senior editor for biomedicine for MIT Technology Review, pointed out that the storage for a human genome DNA sequence is "more like 100 gigabytes" due to the extra information from sequencing. Furthermore, Musk went on to speculate that with a "lossless compression delta" and having "a few reference human genomes", one could "probably fit the DNA sequences of all humans alive today in a fairly small data storage system."
While it certainly seems possible that all of humanity's DNA sequences could fit into some kind of storage system, the question isn't if we can do it, but should we? Would the storage of everyone's DNA be used for "good"?
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