DNA: the ultimate hard drive

When it comes to storing information, hard drives don’t hold a candle to DNA. Our genetic code packs billions of gigabytes into a single gram. A mere milligram of the molecule could encode the complete text of every book in the US Library of Congress and have plenty of room to spare. All of this has been mostly theoretical – until now. In a new study, researchers stored an entire genetics textbook in less than a picogram of DNA – one trillionth of a gram – an advance that could revolutionise our ability to save data.

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Inception helmet creates alternative reality

Christopher Nolan’s 2010 blockbuster Inception is set in a distant future where military technology enables one to infiltrate and surreptitiously alter other people’s dreams. Leonardo Di Caprio plays Dom Cobb, an industrial spy tasked with planting an idea into the mind of a powerful businessman. The film has a complex, layered structure: Cobb and the other characters create dreams within dreams within dreams, but they cannot distinguish between reality and the dream states they fabricate.

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Digital storm on the horizon

Michael Fraser calls it the ”rubbish web”. That is the internet we will be left with in five to 10 years unless governments and cyber corporations fix the holes that allow criminals to infiltrate the world wide web and strip global citizens of their identity, money and dignity, he believes.

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