Monday, June 30, 2008

How much computer space is needed to store your full genome?

This is an interesting question and one that Dan at Genetic Future explores at length.

First, there still seems to be many limitations to the process of sequencing, so for every base and for each chunk that gets sequenced and lined up with the rest, there is a fair degree of uncertainty.
According to Dan and his various calculations, this can result in a sequence taking up to several terabytes.

In the future, if all you want is your sequence and no other information it would take:
2 bits per base * 6 billion bases * 1 byte per 8 bits = 1.5 billion bytes = 1.5 Gb

According to Wikipedia that's the equivalent of about 1500 novels or 26 hours of MP3 music.

Since most of our genome is the same across all individuals, you might just want information about the sites or regions that are known to vary. This would result in even smaller file sizes.

1 comment:

Personomics said...

See another article on this topic. Could your DNA be stored on your iPod:

Almost the same conclusion :-)

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