Proof-of-concept studies go beyond typical DNA data storage projects to ensure high-fidelity data recovery within an automated synthetic biology workflow
SAN DIEGO, April 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Codex DNA, Inc. (NASDAQ: DNAY), a pioneer in automated benchtop synthetic biology systems, today announced the completion of proof-of-concept demonstrations showing that its technology can be used effectively for encoding digital data in DNA sequences, and that the information that was stored could be retrieved accurately afterward. This validation is an important step in the company’s efforts to develop next-generation tools and applications for DNA data storage.
“While other research teams have already proven the viability of storing data in DNA, there has been less attention paid to ensuring that data can be retrieved and decoded with high fidelity,” said Dan Gibson, PhD, Chief Technology Officer at Codex DNA. “Our team, which includes some of the first scientists to ever encode data in DNA, is committed to developing a reliable, accurate, and automated workflow to make DNA data storage and retrieval broadly accessible.”
DNA can be used to store digital data by converting the binary code of 0s and 1s in data files into the A, C, G, and T building blocks of nucleic acids. The storage capacity of a DNA molecule is significantly higher than that of standard data storage technology, with the potential for encoding more than 200 petabytes of data per gram of DNA. It also lasts longer; DNA has been shown to remain intact for more than 1 million years. As a result, this method of storing and retrieving digital data using DNA can revolutionize the way data is stored.
In this study, Codex DNA researchers used the company’s proprietary software algorithm to encode data files into DNA sequence, optimized the synthesis of that DNA sequence, and then successfully demonstrated the retrieval and decoding of the DNA data with sequencing, completing the end-to-end workflow. The team used this approach for an audio file — a brief snippet from “Hey Jude” by The Beatles — and an image file of the company logo. The work leverages a Codex DNA patent (US 10,818,378) for encoding data into nucleic acids.
Separately, with these same algorithms and approach, Codex DNA researchers used the BioXp™ 3250 system to both store and retrieve an image file representing the Codex DNA logo. The company logo was divided into 18 DNA sequences that were individually synthesized and error-corrected on the BioXp system. The DNA data fragments were further processed on the same BioXp system to generate DNA sequencer-ready materials. Once sequenced, the file was found to match the original data file exactly, thus demonstrating for the first time an end-to-end automated solution for DNA data storage and retrieval.
“Since we first launched the BioXp system for automated DNA synthesis, we have been dedicated to supporting the scientific community by continually expanding the system’s capabilities and applications,” said Todd R. Nelson, PhD, CEO of Codex DNA. “We are excited to make progress toward a complete workflow for DNA data storage and retrieval, an area with tremendous potential for a broad range of industries.”
The Codex DNA R&D team continues to enhance its DNA data storage capabilities within the BioXp system workflows, including the unique algorithm to ensure that data is encoded only in the most stable and easily sequenced regions of DNA and the Gibson Assembly® method for file indexing and compression. In addition, the company is applying its recently announced SOLA™ enzymatic DNA synthesis reagent solution to write DNA rapidly, efficiently, and with high accuracy for data storage applications.
About Codex DNA
Codex DNA is empowering scientists with the ability to create novel, synthetic biology solutions for many of humanity’s greatest challenges. As inventors of the industry-standard Gibson Assembly® method and the first commercial automated benchtop DNA and mRNA synthesis system, Codex DNA is enabling rapid, accurate, and reproducible writing of DNA and mRNA for numerous downstream markets. The company’s award-winning BioXp™ system consolidates, automates, and optimizes the entire synthesis, cloning, and amplification workflow. As a result, it delivers virtually error-free synthesis of DNA/RNA at scale within days and hours instead of weeks or months. Scientists around the world are using the technology in their own laboratories to accelerate the design-build-test paradigm for novel, high-value products for precision medicine, biologics drug discovery, vaccine and therapeutic development, genome editing, and cell and gene therapy. Codex DNA is a public company based in San Diego. For more information, visit codexdna.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are based on Codex DNA’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to it on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Codex DNA’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to statements regarding Codex DNA’s ability to successfully develop DNA data storage applications, and its DNA data storage’s usefulness as a form of data storage. These and other risks are described more fully in Codex DNA’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and other documents that Codex DNA subsequently files with the SEC from time to time. Except to the extent required by law, Codex DNA undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.
Richard D. Lepke
Director, Investor Relations