Raising a cloud in your garden to store books is possible

In 2012, a big world first took place: a team of scientists from Harvard Medical School, led by Professor George Church, coded a 53,000-word book, accompanied by 11 illustrations, on deoxyribonucleic acid, which known as DNA.

2018, Copenhagen, two lovers of synthetic biology, Monika Seyfried and Cyrus Clarke, turned a simple flower shop into a data center of the future, and named the project Grow Your Own Cloud. Always DNA as the storage source, but DNA from living organisms such as plants. most? respect for the environment in an area where private centers are characterized by their polluting and energy-intensive nature.

And like DNA coding in the broadest sense, this is a performance that opens up the possibility to rely on exceptional storage capacities.

DIGITAL: An entire book written in DNA

Suck up CO2 instead of releasing it

Data that absorbs CO2 instead of releasing it, this is what Cyrus Clarke featured when interviewed by DNA media. It is a transformative model, both from a relational and environmental perspective, because it does not require energy, requires little space and is not constrained by a time limit. ,» he hinted.

On the other hand, data centers consume enormous amounts of energy and are probably the largest buildings we have ever built. With this model, we can keep our data forever without releasing anything. I have high hopes for this field of research.»

With the goal of showcasing this development technology to as many people as possible, the project also offers DATA Garden and The Flower Shop presentations. In an interactive approach, participants were asked to send their own data to convert it into DNA, allowing the principle to be explained concretely in a flower shop turned into a data center. ” Our duty is not to talk about this technology, but to build a story around it so that everyone understands it,explanation by the strategic director of GYOC.

The contractor-designer also explains in detail, the stages of the process: “Once the digital data has been retrieved, we will convert it to DNA using an algorithm that transcribes it into a new code: from a simple JPG file, we will go to a page full of ATCG (the 4 nitrogenous bases that make up DNA). The second step is to make these ATCGs liquid. This fluid is faced with a bacterium, which absorbs DNA.»

And to add : “We use a genetic sequencing tool, a kind of “pipeline” thanks to which we can read and extract data simultaneously. Lasts 6 hours, not immediately.However, the question of the harmful properties of these plants remains open, although no negative effects have yet been proven.

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Rapid progress

Today, data storage on all living organisms made of DNA is possible, and progress in these areas is rapid. A recent report from research firm Gartner from October 2020 confirms this observation: for the institution, storing DNA data is a must ”radically changing the way people handle, store, and retrieve their data“in the future.

Large technology companies, such as Microsoft, are also investing heavily in the field, making it significant competition for young innovative startups led by Monika Seyfried and Cyrus Clarke.

We discussed this at the UN, with whom we wanted to do something for COP26. To go further, we need connections, government or investors, we can’t do it alone. But, and this is the dilemma, we want to have a different model, find ways to develop this technology, perhaps by establishing our own art and research fund. That remains to be seen!explained Cyrus Clarke.

Growing data and caring for it like a plant: an integration of nature and digital technology that is surprising because it is rich in exciting insights.


Credits: Álvaro Ibáñez (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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