Microsoft Research Webinar |Ultra-dense data storage and extreme parallelism with electronic-molecular systems
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Ultra-dense data storage and extreme parallelism with electronic-molecular systems

Sustaining growth in storage and computational needs is increasingly challenging. For over a decade, exponentially more information has been produced year after year while data storage solutions are pressed to keep up. Soon, current solutions will be unable to match new information in need of storage. Computing is on a similar trajectory, with new needs emerging in search and other domains that require more efficient systems. Innovative methods are necessary to ensure the ability to address future demands, and DNA provides an opportunity at the molecular level for ultra-dense, durable, and sustainable solutions in these areas.

In this webinar, join Microsoft researcher Karin Strauss in exploring the role of biotechnology and synthetic DNA in reaching this goal. Although we have yet to achieve scalable, general-purpose molecular computation, there are areas of IT in which a molecular approach shows growing promise. These areas include storage as well as computation.

Learn how molecules, specifically synthetic DNA, can store digital data and perform certain types of special-purpose computation, like large-scale similarity search, by leveraging tools already developed by the biotechnology industry. Starting with some background on DNA and its storage potential, you’ll explore the advantages of using DNA for this application. Then, you’ll get a closer look at an end-to-end system, including encoding, synthesizing, reading, and decoding DNA. We’ll also look at an affordable full-stack digital microfluidics platform for wet lab preparations and conclude with a discussion of future hybrid systems.

Together, you’ll explore:

  • The intersection between technology and science of DNA data storage and computation
  • The many advantages for using DNA to store data compared with other methods
  • A detailed walkthrough of an end-to-end DNA storage system and its stages
  • How DNA can be used for image similarity search

Karin Strauss is a Principal Research Manager at Microsoft Corporation and an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. She co-leads the Molecular Information System Laboratory with Luis Ceze, working on using molecules, currently DNA, to benefit the IT industry. Her research interests include emerging storage technologies, scaling of computation and storage, and special-purpose accelerators. She was selected as one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business in 2016" by Fast Company Magazine and recently received the ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award with Luis Ceze for their work on DNA data storage. She got her PhD from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2007.

*This on-demand webinar features a previously recorded Q&A session and open captioning.