CLOUDSERVICES

“We can see now that information is what our world runs on: the blood and the fuel, the vital principle” – James Gleic

Life is only possible where there’s water. What if access to water is access to information?

Cloud Services is a proposal for using the atmosphere as the data storage and transmission. Clouds teem with microbes which are transferred worldwide in air masses and water cycle. Data encoded in their DNA can be universally distributed and stored permanently in the soil, tapping into a data storage and transfer system that has been optimized by billion years of evolution within the planet’s energy budget constraints. Data DNA for this purpose is introduced to microorganisms using a gene drive like mechanism, spreading as a genetic element horizontally through the population.

Cloud Services scheme nullifies the need for physical infrastructure for transmission and storage of data, offering an alternative regime for human interaction with physical systems that keeps humanity within the planetary constraints of energy consumption. The scheme offers a truly democratic access to knowledge and a fundamental re-framing of our relationship and connectedness to each other and to the earth.


Technology

CloudServices designs a method to store the data permanently in soil microbiome distributing the chunks of data using a torrent-like system. Using ‘gene drives’, a new synthetic biology tool, ensures that the DNA data will be passed on to the next generation every time and spread through the entire population of bacteria – becoming permanently embedded in its genome.
Encoding data into the DNA of living organisms is no longer a novelty. Big data industry is invested in this trajectory because of the promise of efficient, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage and secure encryption that it offers. In the past few years we have seen an upsurge in advances in encoding schemes, leading to predictions that home DNA data storage solutions for individuals are going to be available within 10 years. A few notable examples from the research include the 2003 encoding of “It’s a Small World (After All)” melody into a bacteria at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state, more recently scientists have encoded all Shakespeare’s sonnets, audio clip from Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech, a copy of James Watson and Francis Crick’s classic paper on the structure of DNA, a photo of the researchers’ institute and a file that describes how the data were converted in an E.coli bacteria and in another study raised the storage density to a staggering 2.2 petabytes per gram.
Secure encryption is another reason why DNA is such an attractive target for the information industry. DNA-based Cryptography is an emerging field of cryptography pursuing the creation of infrastructure of communication security and computer security.
An example algorithm for generating DNA strands from data.CloudServices demonstrates the process of data encoding, storage, retrieval and decoding by sending a two word phrase from one end of the room to the other in a small cloud created in a vessel inside which we recreate the atmospheric conditions necessary for the cloud formation.
Strands of DNA are synthesized, with each of the bases (TGAC) representing a binary value (T and G = 1, A and C = 0). A single byte (or 8 bits) can represent 4 DNA base pairs. To read the data stored in DNA, we simply sequence it and convert each of the TGAC bases back into binary. Each synthesized strand of DNA has a 19-bit address block at the start.
Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) are small particles that exist in atmosphere around which all cloud droplets form. A third of those particles in our atmosphere are of biological origin.1) We use the reprogrammed CloudBac as CCN of the cloud we create for the demonstration. CloudServices induces the cloud to rain out utilizing the ice-nucleating properties of CloudBac. The bacteria are filtered out from the rain water and the original data is extracted by sequencing their DNA.