About the project

Our Mission

The mission of the DATANA project is to solve one of humanity’s key challenges in the digital era:
To deliver high-speed and robust data storage solutions, that will be capable of storing escalating amounts of digital data, reduce the enormous environmental impact of existing technology and thus enable a sustainable digital future.

Why DNA?

As a storage medium, DNA is incomparably more efficient than any of humanity’s artificial technology, as it can hold 115.000 times more data per gram of substance than today’s best methods. As a reference, all of the world’s data today could theoretically be stored within a small container in 1 kg of DNA.

How it works?

DNA digital data storage is the process of encoding and decoding binary data to and from synthesized strands of DNA. As such, the process requires two main steps:

Transformation from digital to DNA code

Step 1

The transformation of data from a digital format (binary code), into a DNA code (quaternary code).

synthesizing data into DNA molecule

Step 2

Synthesizing (writing) of the data into a physical DNA molecule without error.

The Challenge

The encoding method should be able to produce long DNA fragments at miniscule volumes. The microarray-based (solid-phase) synthesizing technology can only produce small DNA fragments that must be assembled in a separate step, making the process tedious, costly, and prone to error as the DNA strands get longer. PCR approaches are able to produce longer DNA fragments that can store larger amounts of data, but they employ standard laboratory procedures that are labor-intensive, take a long time, require highly skilled personnel and large amounts of expensive reagents.

DATANA is introducing a game-changing innovation, reaching far beyond the current state of the art, as it drastically reduces the time and costs for DNA-based storing of data.

Our team has developed a technology that is able to reduce the cost and time of writing of 1 GB of data from the current ~3 million EUR and several months to only 0,5 EUR and 1 hour.

DNA based storage technology excels in data lifetime and data density in terms of either volume or mass. Another great advantage is that multiple copies of data are recorded at the same time. However, the true icing on the cake is DNA data storage sustainability

Current commercially available data storage media rely on continuous electrical supply for storage space climate control.  Also, they require constant maintenance, such as a tedious job of regular data re-recording due to storage media limited lifetime. Cloud storage alone consumed 1% of all electricity produced in 2021, and the numbers are growing at a staggering rate and will soon surpass the airline industry.

DNA polymer is natural and doesn’t pollute, doesn’t consume energy, requires almost no storage space or maintenance and is stable at room temperature for thousands of years. This breakthrough development might be the turning point towards more sustainable data storage and offers a fair share towards addressing global environmental challenges. 

Tomaž Karčnik, D.Sc.

DATANA Project Manager

Applications

DATANA is bringing DNA storage technology into everyday commercial and personal use. It is the ultimate solution for consumers and businesses that need reliable long term data storage that requires little to no input after the data has been encoded and occupies little physical space.

  • Data archiving service providers
  • Government and national archives
  • Large storage infrastructure providers
  • Healthcare and medical organisations
  • Banking and investment companies
  • Legal and insurance companies
  • Cloud providers
  • Crypto industry

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