Lectures and seminars A tale of two strands: from genomes to origami, vaccines, data storage, and back
Title: A tale of two strands: from genomes to origami, vaccines, data storage, and back
Mark Bathe, Professor, Department of Biological Engineering Director, MIT New Engineering Education Transformation Member, Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine Associate Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA
Society is facing diverse challenges in the 21st Century ranging from large-scale pathogen surveillance and response to exponentially growing data storage and computation needs. Although we are commonly familiar with DNA as a polymer that stores our genomic information, DNA has also emerged recently as a versatile, programmable nano-material to fabricate virus-like particles for vaccine and gene therapeutic delivery applications, to perform logic-based computation and sensing for large-scale synthetic information storage and retrieval, and to organize chromophores to mimic photosynthetic bacteria and plants. In this presentation I will share our work in several of these areas, with a focus on using virus-like DNA-based particles to reveal molecular design principles for particulate vaccines and using DNA as a “hard-drive” with random access capabilities for eventual zettabyte-scale archival data storage, as well as ubiquitous molecular pathogen surveillance.