Rather than be the cause of infection and disease, scientists at the Chinese University of Hong Kong are hoping to turn bacteria into something more practical, useful, and high-tech. Researchers are using E.Coli and have managed to transform the bacteria into storage and encryption devices. The process currently involves placing data into the DNA of the bacteria, and encryption can be done through the harnessing of site-specific genetic recombination. That said, the practicality of using bacteria right now to replace your USB storage drive would not be a feasible undertaking as the emerging technology to retrieve data is still expensive, requiring a sequencer.
So far, scientists have managed to cram up to 90 GB of data onto 1 gram of bacteria mass–or 10 million cells.
For more information on how bacteria can be used for storage, you can visit BlueSci.