DNA Storage and Computing at Catalog DNA



DNA has long been known as a biological data storage medium, with extremely high density, low energy, low error rates, and high long-term stability. It has been predicted as a medium for digital storage as well, but technological write and read rates have thus far been too slow for practicality.

That may be starting to change, according to a new MIT spinoff company called Catalog DNA. The CTO of Catalog, Dave Turek, until recently a VP with IBM, was recently interviewed in a video at InsideHPC.

Mr. Turek explained that Catalog has developed a prototype write system based on ink-jet printing technology, which enables write speeds of greater than 1 MB per second. This was demonstrated by storing the entire collection of Wikipedia pages (about 14 GB) in a small vial of liquid. Readout was also demonstrated using conventional DNA sequencing machines, although this is still somewhat slower. They anticipate major increases in both writing and reading speeds as the technology develops further. In addition, they believe that this technology can go beyond data storage to logical processing as well.