DNA, or Deoxyribonucleic Acid, is the most fundamental component of all of us. We begin our lives from an egg from our mothers that have been fertilized by the sperm of our fathers. These eggs and sperm collectively contain the DNA of our parents and provide the 'blueprint' for our construction. Indeed, it is quite extraordinary that the information contained in DNA, harbored in the form of paired chemical structures, can led to the development of a human being.
In a recent article, published by Nature, "Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA" researchers are discussing how DNA is capable of storing other types of information as well -- like the type we store on our computers. According to the authors, "Theoretical analysis indicates that our DNA-based storage scheme could be scaled far beyond current global information volumes and offers a realistic technology for large-scale, long-term and infrequently accessed digital archiving."
In essence, what is being done is that instead of having information stored in the conventional way, as bytes of information on hard-drives, this data is converted and translated to into DNA code through a standard coding scheme. The data can then be used to artificially engineer and store the resulting DNA in relatively normal conditions for very long periods without compromise.
At the present time, this technology costs much more than our standard information storage methods (ie on hard-drives); however, the authors postulate that with increased gains in efficiency and increased demand for data storage, this type of DNA storage may become a feasible alternative to storing large quantities of seldomly used or archived data.
I found the article to be pretty interesting and would encourage readers who have access to the journal Nature to take a read.