Genetic Data Rapidly Running Out Of Storage Space – Growth Faster Than YouTube?

Scientists generating data about our genomes will soon be facing an acute shortage of storage space. The pace at which raw data is being generated is faster than even YouTube.

One of the biggest phenomena of the modern world is Big Data. While companies like Google, Facebook, and few others like them don’t necessarily sweat the details, it’s a different ballgame for scientists, researchers, governments, and other small private companies, who will soon struggle to find a reliable and long-term storage space for their ever increasing databanks.

It’s not just these people, but overall we are all creating and dumping way more raw data than ever before. In fact, a study conducted in 2013 found out that 90 percent of the data presently burdening the servers has been generated in the preceding two years alone. Needless to say, such quantum, that is only set to rise in the future, is creating huge logistical challenges for companies and people who are entrusted with the job of managing this colossal tidal wave of information.

The biggest platform is undeniably YouTube. As per recent statistics, people are uploading about 300 hours of video to the service every minute. From a technical perspective, that’s 100 Petabytes (100,000 Terabytes) of data per year. Despite the volume, Google isn’t overly concerned since it has been built keeping in mind such requirements.

But data generators in other sectors aren’t necessarily backed by Google and its servers. Researchers at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the U.S. discovered that the field of genomics is the fastest-growing data generator in the world today. Moreover, the quantity of genetic data being produced on a daily basis is doubling every seven months at the current rate.

The research suggests that by 2025, genome scientists will be way ahead of YouTube and Twitter in terms of generating raw data. Additionally within a short span of a decade, these guys will also speed ahead current reigning data kings in science: astronomy and physics. In fact, by 2025, genetics researchers could be producing anywhere between two and 40 Exabytes (1 Exabyte = 1,000 Petabytes) of data every year, depending on the pace set by the scientists.

The largest generators of data will be those, who will want to get their genome sequenced. Over one billion people, mostly in developed countries, will soon demand to have their genome sequenced primarily because it opens up some amazing health solutions. Unfortunately, that’s when the scientists will truly worry about Big Data and storage facilities.

Interestingly though, those who are generating oodles of data could also develop innovative data storage devices.

[Image Credit | Getty Images]