Data challenge

Valerie Insinna

Meet the new data challenges. Same as the old data challenges.
“With digital data growing at an exponential rate, there is increasing interest and excitement about using nature’s storage medium, DNA, to store digital data,” said Emily Leproust, CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience, one of the companies working with the Georgia Tech Research Institute. “With the government’s commitment to fund this exciting new area of storage, we believe that as part of this consortium of specialists, we can truly revolutionize the DNA synthesis process, and reduce the cost of synthesis for DNA data storage by many orders of magnitude.”
According to Twist Bioscience, the goal of their effort will be to create a device capable of writing enough synthetic DNA per day to reduce data storage costs to as low as $1 per gigabyte.
“Fifty years ago, DNA data storage was considered science fiction – today, it is science with a path toward broad implementation,” Leproust said. “We expect in the next three to five years, with the proper amount of government and industry investment, it will become a reality for long-term storage.”
The Molecular Encoding Consortium is led by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and includes DNA Script and Professor Donhee Ham’s research group at Harvard University.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Tech Research Institute is teaming with the Twist Bioscience Corp., the University of Washington, Microsoft and Roswell Biotechnologies for their effort. These new systems will be tested independently by Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory .
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