56 minutes | Aug 11th 2020

Storing your data in DNA, with James Banal

The building blocks of life, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), can be used for computational advantage, posits Dr. James Banal, postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Biological Engineering, in the Bathe Lab. “I work on the wackiest things in computing and storage right now, which is quantum computing and DNA data storage,” says James.From ultra-dense, ultra-long storage of digital data (think: storing exabytes for fifty years) to building a 'frozen zoo' or 'species time capsule' to preserve living components of our planet in case of catastrophe, DNA storage and computing leverages the life within all of us to improve not only our lives, but those who will inherit our future Earth.Show NotesEpisode Page (including Transcript): https://toughtechtoday.com/computing-with-the-building-blocks-of-life-with-james-banal/James Banal on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-banal/Topic Timecodes02:16 Entering Mark Bathe’s Lab03:50 Compressing a datacenter into a sugar cube06:15 Writing DNA data08:17 Archiving data for decades09:49 How data is stored and accessed with DNA14:22 An advantage: High replication15:28 Working on ‘super hard’ problems16:30 Commercializing DNA storage18:06 Evolving a PhD research statement19:51 Ten-Year-Old James: “You’re crazy!”20:45 Counting cells for Mom and Dad23:26 On failure, quitting, and the low points 27:22 Abraham Lincoln and being skeptical of a positive signal31:08 Applying machine learning to DNA datasets33:35 Who may buy this34:45 ‘Datageddon’ and the post-silicon world39:44 Storing the world’s annual data in a cubic meter42:17 When will we see DNA computing deployed?45:25 Taking a snapshot of all species in the world46:33 ELI5: Never have to delete anything again49:12 The ‘Frozen Zoo’, ‘Frozen Ark’, and Australian wildfires53:59 Final points
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