TECH ALERT: Big Bucks From “Blood Valley”
The Montreux Casino was going up in flames.
And along with it went the recording studio which a famous rock band had booked for a free session the next day.
The members of the band watched in horror as the flames leapt into the night sky.
It was 1971 and the fire in the sky and the smoke that hung over the waters of a nearby lake would soon inspire the band’s most famous song.
As some of you might have already guessed, the band was Deep Purple and the song was Smoke on the Water.
That song’s iconic bass riff motivated me into picking up the guitar, and even made me harbor thoughts of a career on stage…
My rock star aspirations were short-lived.
However, thanks to scientists from the University of Washington, Microsoft and Twist Bioscience, that song could soon live on forever… Literally.
That’s because recently, scientists from these three research facilities conducted a unique experiment that involved storing the song Smoke on the Water on a DNA sequence.
I’m sure you’ve heard of DNA. “Deoxyribonucleic acid” is one of the smallest molecules in all living organisms. Its sole purpose is storing information.
Today, I want to give YOU a front row seat to the rapidly growing DNA data storage industry.
All signs point to this technology becoming the future of data storage, which will mint millionaires in the process…
A Billion Dollar Industry: Hidden In Our Human “Code”
Because of its unique information storing property, scientists have always viewed DNA as the ultimate medium for data storage.
In 2012, scientists at Harvard managed to store the text of a book on DNA. Since then, researchers have successfully stored data, equivalent to 900bn pages of plain text, in one gram of DNA and read it back accurately.
In fact, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA), was so impressed with DNA data storage technology that it recently funded further research into DNA storage.
If successful, it could be the answer to the problems of archiving the increasing amounts of information the world is creating.
And boy was it successful.
In the space of the last 12 months, they have progressed from storing print to storing music that could be decoded and played back without any loss of quality.
Big Data = Big Bucks $$$$
DNA is infinitely small, stores a ton of data, is cheap and has a very long shelf life. It’s not going to be obsolete even in 10,000 years. Compare that to the current silicon based magnetic tape decks that degrade and have to be copied every 10 years.
But the biggest factor in favor of DNA is that it’s abundant.
This is very important as there is a looming need for new data storage!
Data is exploding so fast that new words are being invented to keep pace. Gone are the glory days of Gigabytes and Terabytes and even Petabytes.
The world has now moved on to Exabytes, Zettabytes and Yottabytes.
We’re moving so fast you probably think I’m making those names up!
But they’re real. And this data trend is important for investors.
Just so you know, 1 yottabyte equals 931,322,574,615,480 gigabytes. That’s equivalent to the storage capacity of a hundred billion top-end laptops.
And even as you’re trying to get your head around that, they are already discussing brontobytes (the next level) in hushed whispers.
But let’s talk in words and numbers you and I understand…
The Human Processor Is Coming…
By 2020, every human being will generate approximately 1.7 MB of data per second. That’s 146,880 MB per day. Per person!
As data grows bigger, there is a growing need for space to store it.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of “the cloud.” But let’s not forget that the cloud needs a home.
And server farms and processors are not cheap…
And rising costs are not the only factor. The bigger problem is that at the rate data is exploding, the earth is expected to run out of memory-grade silicon soon.
Data storing companies are frantically trying to find a solution for a problem they know is going to engulf, nay, submerge them.
The Answer Lies In Your DNA
Whether you are a bug, a potato, or President Trump, your DNA stores your most important information.
And now that scientists have figured out how to store data on DNA, the world’s data storage problems are as good as solved.
When perfected, all of today’s data (I’m talking of all the data stored in the thousands of data centers around the globe) can be stored in DNA that can fit into a semi-trailer.
This is why the biggest data storage companies are putting big bucks into this technology.
Over the past five years, more than $45 billion of investment capital has flowed into the data center sector.
This is where the smart money is. And it’s continuing to grow.
A lot of startups are looking at DNA just as people looked at Silicon in the late 80s early 90s. Think Intel, AMD, Qualcomm…
Your Billion Dollar Blood… (Bye Bye, Silicon. Hello DNA!)
While DNA undoubtedly offers immense data storage capabilities, it offers an even bigger investment opportunity.
Companies like IBM, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are investigating the use of DNA to store vast quantities of digitized data.
But you might do well to look at the little-known players that are focused entirely on DNA data storage.
Here’s a few of the best names in the space:
Evonetix: Founded in 2015, this U.K. startup has taken in $14 million in funding to develop technology that allows them to create long DNA threads accurately and at scale, a prerequisite to using DNA for data storage.
Catalog: This Massachusetts startup company has taken in $9.3 million in funding from a diverse set of 25 investors so far since its launch in 2016. You might be interested to know that Chinese internet giant Baidu is one of these investors.
Twist BioScience: This San Francisco startup is leading the pack. It has over $253 million in funding from 24 different investors including Illumina and asset manager Fidelity. Having recently closed a massive Series D funding, Twist may have enough capital to start thinking in IPO terms.
Unfortunately, none of these small companies are publically traded.
But, there’s big money in the new “blood valley” and I want to make sure you see this huge trend coming down the road.
Here’s to a stable retirement,
Managing Editor, The Daily Edge