Microsoft, UW demonstrate first fully automated DNA data storage

Researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington have demonstrated the first fully automated system to store and retrieve data in manufactured DNA — a key step in moving the technology out of the research lab and into commercial datacenters.

In a simple proof-of-concept test, the team successfully encoded the word “hello” in snippets of fabricated DNA and converted it back to digital data using a fully automated end-to-end system, which is described in a new paper published March 21 in Nature Scientific Reports.

DNA can store digital information in a space that is orders of magnitude smaller than datacenters use today. It’s one promising solution for storing the exploding amount of data the world generates each day, from business records and cute animal videos to medical scans and images from outer space.

Microsoft is exploring ways to close a looming gap between the amount of data we are producing that needs to be preserved and our capacity to store it. That includes developing algorithms and molecular computing technologies to encode and retrieve data in fabricated DNA, which could fit all the information currently stored in a warehouse-sized datacenter into a space roughly the size of a few board game dice.

“Our ultimate goal is to put a system into production that, to the end user, looks very much like any other cloud storage service — bits are sent to a datacenter and stored there and then they just appear when the customer wants them,” said Microsoft principal researcher Karin Strauss. “To do that, we needed to prove that this is practical from an automation perspective.”

Information is stored in synthetic DNA molecules created in a lab, not DNA from humans or other living things, and can be encrypted before it is sent to the system. While sophisticated machines such as synthesizers and sequencers already perform key parts of the process, many of the intermediate steps until now have required manual labor in the research lab. But that wouldn’t be viable in a commercial setting, said Chris Takahashi, senior research scientist at the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.

“You can’t have a bunch of people running around a datacenter with pipettes — it’s too prone to human error, it’s too costly and the footprint would be too large,” Takahashi said.

YouTube Video

For the technique to make sense as a commercial storage solution, costs need to decrease for both synthesizing DNA — essentially custom building strands with meaningful sequences — and the sequencing process that extracts the stored information. Trends are moving rapidly in that direction, researchers say.

Automation is another key piece of that puzzle, as it would enable storage at a commercial scale and make it more affordable, Microsoft researchers say.

Under the right conditions, DNA can last much longer than current archival storage technologies that degrade in a matter of decades. Some DNA has managed to persist in less than ideal storage conditions for tens of thousands of years in mammoth tusks and bones of early humans, and it should have relevancy as long as people are alive.

The automated DNA data storage system uses software developed by the Microsoft and UW team that converts the ones and zeros of digital data into the As, Ts, Cs and Gs that make up the building blocks of DNA. Then it uses inexpensive, largely off-the-shelf lab equipment to flow the necessary liquids and chemicals into a synthesizer that builds manufactured snippets of DNA and to push them into a storage vessel.

When the system needs to retrieve the information, it adds other chemicals to properly prepare the DNA and uses microfluidic pumps to push the liquids into other parts of the system that “read” the DNA sequences and convert it back to information that a computer can understand. The goal of the project was not to prove how fast or inexpensively the system could work, researchers say, but simply to demonstrate that automation is possible.

One immediate benefit of having an automated DNA storage system is that it frees researchers up to probe deeper questions, instead of spending time searching for bottles of reagents or repetitively squeezing drops of liquids into test tubes.

“Having an automated system to do the repetitive work allows those of us working in the lab to take a higher view and begin to assemble new strategies — to essentially innovate much faster,” said Microsoft researcher Bichlien Nguyen.

The team from the Molecular Information Systems Lab has already demonstrated that it can store cat photographs, great literary works, pop videos and archival recordings in DNA, and retrieve those files without errors in a research setting. To date they’ve been able to store 1 gigabyte of data in DNA, besting their previous world record of 200 MB.

To store data in DNA, algorithms convert the 1s and 0s in digital data to ACTG sequences in DNA. Microsoft and University of Washington researchers stored and retrieved the word “hello” using the first fully automated system for DNA storage.

The researchers have also developed techniques to perform meaningful computation — like searching for and retrieving only images that contain an apple or a green bicycle — using the molecules themselves and without having to convert the files back into a digital format.

“We are definitely seeing a new kind of computer system being born here where you are using molecules to store data and electronics for control and processing. Putting them together holds some really interesting possibilities for the future,” said UW Allen School professor Luis Ceze.

Unlike silicon-based computing systems, DNA-based storage and computing systems have to use liquids to move molecules around. But fluids are inherently different than electrons and require entirely new engineering solutions.

The UW team, in collaboration with Microsoft, is also developing a programmable system that automates lab experiments by harnessing the properties of electricity and water to move droplets around on a grid of electrodes. The full stack of software and hardware, nicknamed “Puddle” and “PurpleDrop,” can mix, separate, heat or cool different liquids and run lab protocols.

The goal is to automate lab experiments that are currently being done by hand or by expensive liquid handling robots — but for a fraction of the cost.

Next steps for the MISL team include integrating the simple end-to-end automated system with technologies such as PurpleDrop and those that enable searching with DNA molecules. The researchers specifically designed the automated system to be modular, allowing it to evolve as new technologies emerge for synthesizing, sequencing or working with DNA.

“What’s great about this system is that if we wanted to replace one of the parts with something new or better or faster, we can just plug that in,” Nguyen said. “It gives us a lot of flexibility for the future.”

Top image: Microsoft and University of Washington researchers have successfully encoded and retrieved the word “hello” using this new system that fully automates DNA storage. It’s a key step in moving the technology out of the lab and into commercial datacenters.

Related to DNA storage:

Jennifer Langston writes about Microsoft research and innovation. Follow her on Twitter.

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Author: Steve Clarke

Everbridge Crisis Management unifies communication, response

A new Everbridge application will enable workers to see and update the jobs associated with a given emergency, helping them better understand the status of an incident.

Everbridge Crisis Management unifies response and communication through a dashboard, integrated in the vendor’s Critical Event Management suite.

“It centralizes everything related to managing a crisis or critical event,” said Jennifer Sand, vice president of product management for Critical Event Management at Everbridge, which is based in Burlington, Mass., and Pasadena, Calif.

Everbridge Crisis Management includes integrated chat, incident log and smart conferencing. It can incorporate an organization’s recovery plan and provide predetermined communications for specific situations.

Through the application’s Task Manager, an organization can update tasks and assign new ones in the middle of an event. Through the dashboard and reporting capabilities, management can monitor response and recovery in real time.

A mobile interface enables users to communicate with others, see and update task assignments, and attach photos from the road.

The application features elements of Crisis Commander, a crisis management platform that Everbridge acquired in 2017 and has integrated within some of its products. Crisis Commander provides the ability to manage and distribute plans and tasks.

It’s moving from communication to actively managing critical events.
Jennifer SandVice president of product management for Critical Event Management, Everbridge

Because it’s integrated within the Critical Event Management platform, the new Crisis Management enables users to manage a critical event from detection through response and after-action analysis.

Everbridge also previously offered a communications platform, but this application goes a step further, tying communication actions to critical event response.

“It allows you to take action,” Sand said. “It’s moving from communication to actively managing critical events.”

Customers can also use Everbridge Crisis Management to create and launch response plans. The application digitizes what have historically been physical documents, ranging from DR plans to a response task list.

Everbridge Crisis Management will be licensed based on the number of responders in an organization. While some early adopters have used the product, general availability is scheduled for April.

Screenshot of Everbridge Crisis Management application
Through the Everbridge Crisis Management application, users can find out if important tasks have been completed.

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For Sale – Cheap pc or trade decent GTX graphic card

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by hums60, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. hums60

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    Intel Celeron G3930 2.9 GHz CPU
    4gb Ballistic sport ram DDR 4 2666 MT/s PC4-21300
    120gb SSD Kingston
    Msi Z270-A Pro motherboard
    750 watt G2 evga supernova 80 plus gold power supply
    Windows 10 pro installed

    Sale or trade for Gtx graphic card
    Something like gtx 1070 ti

    Fully working with no problems
    Prefer collection but will post if needed
    Postage will be charged at cost

    Price and currency: 250
    Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
    Payment method: cash on collection or BT
    Location: sandbach
    Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Microsoft, UW demonstrate first fully automated DNA data storage

Researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington have demonstrated the first fully automated system to store and retrieve data in manufactured DNA — a key step in moving the technology out of the research lab and into commercial datacenters.

In a simple proof-of-concept test, the team successfully encoded the word “hello” in snippets of fabricated DNA and converted it back to digital data using a fully automated end-to-end system, which is described in a new paper published March 21 in Nature Scientific Reports.

DNA can store digital information in a space that is orders of magnitude smaller than datacenters use today. It’s one promising solution for storing the exploding amount of data the world generates each day, from business records and cute animal videos to medical scans and images from outer space.

Microsoft is exploring ways to close a looming gap between the amount of data we are producing that needs to be preserved and our capacity to store it. That includes developing algorithms and molecular computing technologies to encode and retrieve data in fabricated DNA, which could fit all the information currently stored in a warehouse-sized datacenter into a space roughly the size of a few board game dice.

“Our ultimate goal is to put a system into production that, to the end user, looks very much like any other cloud storage service — bits are sent to a datacenter and stored there and then they just appear when the customer wants them,” said Microsoft principal researcher Karin Strauss. “To do that, we needed to prove that this is practical from an automation perspective.”

Information is stored in synthetic DNA molecules created in a lab, not DNA from humans or other living things, and can be encrypted before it is sent to the system. While sophisticated machines such as synthesizers and sequencers already perform key parts of the process, many of the intermediate steps until now have required manual labor in the research lab. But that wouldn’t be viable in a commercial setting, said Chris Takahashi, senior research scientist at the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.

“You can’t have a bunch of people running around a datacenter with pipettes — it’s too prone to human error, it’s too costly and the footprint would be too large,” Takahashi said.

YouTube Video

For the technique to make sense as a commercial storage solution, costs need to decrease for both synthesizing DNA — essentially custom building strands with meaningful sequences — and the sequencing process that extracts the stored information. Trends are moving rapidly in that direction, researchers say.

Automation is another key piece of that puzzle, as it would enable storage at a commercial scale and make it more affordable, Microsoft researchers say.

Under the right conditions, DNA can last much longer than current archival storage technologies that degrade in a matter of decades. Some DNA has managed to persist in less than ideal storage conditions for tens of thousands of years in mammoth tusks and bones of early humans, and it should have relevancy as long as people are alive.

The automated DNA data storage system uses software developed by the Microsoft and UW team that converts the ones and zeros of digital data into the As, Ts, Cs and Gs that make up the building blocks of DNA. Then it uses inexpensive, largely off-the-shelf lab equipment to flow the necessary liquids and chemicals into a synthesizer that builds manufactured snippets of DNA and to push them into a storage vessel.

When the system needs to retrieve the information, it adds other chemicals to properly prepare the DNA and uses microfluidic pumps to push the liquids into other parts of the system that “read” the DNA sequences and convert it back to information that a computer can understand. The goal of the project was not to prove how fast or inexpensively the system could work, researchers say, but simply to demonstrate that automation is possible.

One immediate benefit of having an automated DNA storage system is that it frees researchers up to probe deeper questions, instead of spending time searching for bottles of reagents or repetitively squeezing drops of liquids into test tubes.

“Having an automated system to do the repetitive work allows those of us working in the lab to take a higher view and begin to assemble new strategies — to essentially innovate much faster,” said Microsoft researcher Bichlien Nguyen.

The team from the Molecular Information Systems Lab has already demonstrated that it can store cat photographs, great literary works, pop videos and archival recordings in DNA, and retrieve those files without errors in a research setting. To date they’ve been able to store 1 gigabyte of data in DNA, besting their previous world record of 200 MB.

To store data in DNA, algorithms convert the 1s and 0s in digital data to ACTG sequences in DNA. Microsoft and University of Washington researchers stored and retrieved the word “hello” using the first fully automated system for DNA storage.

The researchers have also developed techniques to perform meaningful computation — like searching for and retrieving only images that contain an apple or a green bicycle — using the molecules themselves and without having to convert the files back into a digital format.

“We are definitely seeing a new kind of computer system being born here where you are using molecules to store data and electronics for control and processing. Putting them together holds some really interesting possibilities for the future,” said UW Allen School professor Luis Ceze.

Unlike silicon-based computing systems, DNA-based storage and computing systems have to use liquids to move molecules around. But fluids are inherently different than electrons and require entirely new engineering solutions.

The UW team, in collaboration with Microsoft, is also developing a programmable system that automates lab experiments by harnessing the properties of electricity and water to move droplets around on a grid of electrodes. The full stack of software and hardware, nicknamed “Puddle” and “PurpleDrop,” can mix, separate, heat or cool different liquids and run lab protocols.

The goal is to automate lab experiments that are currently being done by hand or by expensive liquid handling robots — but for a fraction of the cost.

Next steps for the MISL team include integrating the simple end-to-end automated system with technologies such as PurpleDrop and those that enable searching with DNA molecules. The researchers specifically designed the automated system to be modular, allowing it to evolve as new technologies emerge for synthesizing, sequencing or working with DNA.

“What’s great about this system is that if we wanted to replace one of the parts with something new or better or faster, we can just plug that in,” Nguyen said. “It gives us a lot of flexibility for the future.”

Top image: Microsoft and University of Washington researchers have successfully encoded and retrieved the word “hello” using this new system that fully automates DNA storage. It’s a key step in moving the technology out of the lab and into commercial datacenters.

Related to DNA storage:

Jennifer Langston writes about Microsoft research and innovation. Follow her on Twitter.

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Author: Steve Clarke

Enterprises are adopting UEM technology — but slowly

Client management tools were great for managing a swath of PCs, but they aren’t great at helping IT manage the influx of smartphones, tablets and the rise of IoT.

One fix is to invest in unified endpoint management technology, but integrating UEM tools into the enterprise is easier said than done, according to Chris Silva, analyst at Gartner. While UEM technology brings the management of different devices to a single console, system complexity and workforce politics can impede an organization’s migration to UEM technology — not to mention the time and the cost such a migration will take.

Chris SilvaChris Silva

Additionally, client management tools (CMTs) and UEM technology vendors can obstruct a UEM migration, putting IT between a rock and a hard place, according to Gartner. Some modern products, such as Google Chrome OS and Windows 10 S, only favor UEM, preventing organizations from migrating to those application systems if they’re not ready to invest in the technology. And yet, most CMTs don’t have the flexibility to manage the array of enterprises the way that UEM technology does.

In this Q&A, Silva gives his perspective on why adopting UEM technology may be slower than initially anticipated, as well as how device management will continue to evolve as the continued influx of devices becomes standard operating procedure for IT.

Are enterprises still moving toward UEM technology, and are the tools gaining traction?

Chris Silva: It’s happening, but it’s happening slowly. Two things are important to note: One is that roughly 20% to 30% or so of clients have taken the plunge and are done or near done moving their PCs to UEM. For the remaining 70% to 80%, it’s going to take them three to five years.

So, it’s happening, but it’s happening incrementally. If you look at the average organization, are they doing this? Not yet. The bigger the organization, the more complex the process is. One example of this is banks that have a bunch of homegrown apps dependent on an outdated version of Internet Explorer. It will take them a while to move because they have a lot of dependencies to resolve.

Is a UEM migration harder for small organizations because of the cost and the time it takes?

Silva: It can apply, but I tend to say [UEM technology migration] is not size-dependent. You can have a midsize or small enterprise that has as much complexity as a massive company and hasn’t made the move.

Medium and small businesses tend to be more ready to move because either they don’t have anything managing their PCs today so it’s a blank page or they, by trend, tend to be using things like Office 365 and SaaS applications more often. It’s more common to see a midsize business move this way, but it’s not a direct correlation between size and readiness.

You mentioned dependencies as a barrier for adopting UEM technology. Are there others?

Silva: The big thing is a politics and culture change. You’ll have PC teams using management tools, like Configuration Manager for Microsoft, and it’s a 25-year-old piece of software, and it’s all they’ve known. And to move to a unified endpoint management, you’re telling them two things: One is that the client management tool they built their careers on is going to go away; and two, things that are part and parcel of desktop management, like pushing images onto PCs and having every PC configured exactly the same, is possible but more challenging in UEM.

There’s a lot of resistance to moving this way because people are worried about their jobs and what they’ll do when the CMT stuff goes away, while not being sure of what the future looks like when things like image management go away.

What’s the downside for organizations that aren’t migrating to UEM technology?

Silva: There’s not a huge downside right now to having two applications — other than you’re paying for two tools and you’re less efficient because you go back and forth between two systems. What we expect will happen over time is more devices will be running modern or modern manageable OSes. You’ll see more Macs and more Chromebooks. If you get a fleet of Chromebooks in, you can’t manage those with your client management tool, so you have to move.

What hasn’t happened yet — and we don’t really know when it will or how, as Microsoft releases the next version of Windows and the version after that and the version after that — is will you be able to do less with a client management tool? That seems likely, but it’s is hard to say when. There will be more direct negatives to not moving to UEM as years go by.

As more types of devices emerge, do they add layers of complexity for organizations migrating to UEM?

Silva: It shouldn’t, and largely won’t, if they’re using one tool to manage them all, which is part of the problem of not moving and holding back on doing this. You’ll ultimately get to the point where you have a tool to manage wearables, a tool to manage mobile, an old CMT to manage PCs, and at a certain point, it begins to get unwieldly and costly to keep layering things on.

That’s what we saw in the early days of mobile. Everyone had a BlackBerry enterprise server. IPhones came in, and now they need a [mobile device management] tool, and now they have two tools. As Android came in, maybe add a third solution. Having those different tools was diminishing returns.

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For Sale – Draytek Vigor 2860n & Das Keyboard 5Q – LED RGB / Mechanical Keyboard with API integration

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by kosch, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. kosch

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    Draytek Vigor Router 2860n built in ADSL/VDSL Modem. SIN 498 approved.

    Vigor 2860 ADSL & VDSL Series
    £93 inc Postage

    Das Keyboard 5Q – Comes with original box mechanical & RGB with API.
    Das keyboard 5Q Smart Keyboard
    £180 inc Postage

    Welcome to collect from around Sudbury Suffolk or Cambridge Science park.

    Price and currency: Various
    Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
    Payment method: PayPal if you cover fees or BT.
    Location: Sudbury or Cambridge science park
    Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019

  2. kosch

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    PSU sold elsewhere.

  3. kosch

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    HomePlugs sold elsewhere.

  4. kosch

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    Added Draytek Router

  5. Hi Kosh, is the vigor router dual
    band or only 2.4

  6. kosch

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    2.4ghz haven’t found many things that needed 5ghz even when streaming 4k MKV. Signal strength on the drayteks is amazing. Covers my 4 bed detached house and garden from the ground floor.

  7. Thanks for letting me know, already got a 2820 so not worth me changing really, was wanting to use a custom provider dynamic dns which unfortunately the 2820 does not do and the 5ghz would have been an added bonus.

  8. kosch

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    The 2860 do user/custom defined DNS looking at the setting now

  9. Yes it does, the 2820 does not though and it is a lot of money to pay for that alone, if yours also did dual band I would have been tempted.

    Cheers

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