This startup successfully compresses 16GB of Wikipedia text data into DNA strings - Photo 1.

This startup successfully compresses 16GB of Wikipedia text data into DNA strings


Computer storage technology has greatly improved over the years, from wires connecting five magnets, to hard disks, to memory chips with 3D stacks. But next-generation storage technology will probably use a "new" method that is as old as life on Earth: DNA.

Accordingly, startup Catalog on Friday announced its new results: they have found a way to compress the entire English version of Wikipedia's text data into genetic molecules, like molecules. exists within our own bodies.

To achieve that, they created a DNA recorder that could fit in your home if you cut down on refrigerators, ovens, and some other kitchen items. And although this storage technology is unlikely to soon replace flash memory chips on phones, this startup believes that some customers needing special data storage can enjoy their devices right now!

DNA sequences are very small and difficult to control, but biological molecules can store many other types of data instead of genomes that regulate how a cell will become a okra or a chimpanzee. . Catalog used pre-fabricated synthetic DNA sequences, shorter than human DNA, but combined a large amount of them to store more data.

If you think based on DNA instead of the latest miniature high-tech components is a step back, think again. DNA is compact, chemically stable, and considering that it is the foundation of biology on Earth, DNA will certainly not be as obsolete as magnetic rotating disks of hard drives or CDs – things that are now gradually disappeared like the floppy disk disappeared before.

So who will be the potential customer group of this storage technology? Catalog has one partner: Arch Mission Foundation, which seeks to store human knowledge not only on Earth but even in the solar system – as on Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster, which was launched by SpaceX directed. In addition to Arch, Catalog is not ready to announce other customers, or whether they charge a fee for DNA recording services.

According to this startup: "We discussed with government agencies, major scientific projects around the world with a huge amount of test data, large companies in the oil and gas industry, communications, and entertainment, finance. …".

The catalog is based in Boston, and their DNA recorder can write data to DNA at a rate of 4 megabits per second. If optimized, the speed could triple, ie 125 gigabytes in a day – on par with the current storage capacity of high-end phones.

Catalog of DNA recorders

Traditional DNA sorting products are on sale in the biotech DNA market. "We think this new application of DNA sequencing technology will help reduce costs a little bit "- Catalog said, affirming that computing business is a much bigger market.

Catalog was founded in 2016 by two MIT graduates, Hyunjun Park CEO and Technology Innovation Director Nathaniel Roquet.

Catalog uses a system that allows customers to store large data sets. And although DNA stores data in long sequences, Catalog can read data stored anywhere with molecular exploration tools. In other words, it is like a kind of random access memory, like a hard drive, not having to access the sequence like a tape cluster that people used on the early days of a mainframe computer half a century ago.

Although DNA data can be interrupted by cosmic rays, Catalog says that this method of storage is more stable than other methods. After all, we have obtained DNA from extinct animals thousands of years ago. What about USB? Do you dare to bet that the USB stick in the desk drawer will still work well after 25 years?

Reference: CNET


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