Twist Bioscience selected as subcontractor for DNA synthesis program
Twist Bioscience Corporation announced that it has been selected as a subcontractor to Georgia Tech Research Institute to undertake the DNA synthesis portion of the Molecular Information Storage program through a contract with the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. DNA has the ability to store large amounts of data over long periods of time in a very dense format, however today this storage technology is not cost efficient, nor widely available. The aim of the project, termed Scalable Molecular Archival Software & Hardware, is to make long-term DNA data storage accessible and commercially viable within the next three to five years. Twist Bioscience may receive up to $9.15M in fees under the multi-phase contract awarded to GTRI, which is worth up to $25M. The deliverables under the contract for Twist Bioscience consist of creating a DNA synthesis platform on silicon that "writes," or synthesizes, enough DNA per day to allow the cost of storing digital data to be as low as $1 per gigabyte. This is a reduction in the cost of approximately six to seven orders of magnitude from the cost of DNA data storage today, by Twist internal estimates. In addition to the $9.15M earmarked for Twist, there is an additional $5.5M slated to bolster DNA synthesis through new chip design with standard CMOS electronics that are able to write DNA using the efficiencies of current semiconductor technologies. This research will be conducted at GTRI, and will then come to Twist for commercial implementation. The primary contract is held by the GTRI, with subcontractors Twist Bioscience to conduct DNA synthesis, University of Washington/Microsoft teams bringing system architecture, data analysis and coding expertise and Roswell Biotechnologies to provide a high throughout DNA data reader chip and platform.