How much computer memory would a human genome use?

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Seg B

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Seg B  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
How much computer memory would a persons genome take up?

Segen, London

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/01/2010 09:30:02 by _system »

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Offline Geezer

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How much computer memory would a human genome use?
« Reply #1 on: 16/01/2010 23:22:20 »
My thinking:

Quote
The haploid human genome occupies a total of just over 3 billion DNA base pairs.
Human genome (Wikipedia)

DNA consists of combinations of 4 different base pairs that are able to be encoded as 2 binary bits (ie, 4 = 2▓, where the base of 2 indicates "binary" and the power of ▓ indicates number of bits). Thus,

3,000,000,000 base pairs → 1,500 Mega bits

1,500 Mega bits ≈ 100 MB of 16-bit words, 50 MB of 32-bit words, and 25 MB of 64-bit words.


Dave: I think 3 billion base pairs will need at least 6 billion bits, or approximately 750 Mega Bytes (8 bit Bytes)

In practice, depending on the actual encoding method, including some structure and a certain amount amount of redundancy, 1 GB is probably a practical minimum. I would not be surprised if actual genome files are considerably larger. Still, these days, a few GB is not much, and you could easily carry around your own sequence on a flash card!
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

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Offline Bengaman

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How much computer memory would a human genome use?
« Reply #2 on: 18/01/2010 22:02:42 »
Wow that's quite cool, can pick up 1GB cards for dirt cheap these days!

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Offline Geezer

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How much computer memory would a human genome use?
« Reply #3 on: 19/01/2010 03:08:24 »
If you can find one that small! I bought a 4GB keychain USB for my wife today for $15.
« Last Edit: 19/01/2010 03:12:49 by Geezer »
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.