Hot News for the Summer from CATALOG

CATALOG Encodes Wikipedia Into DNA!

After years of development work and immeasurable effort by the CATALOG team, we have performed the first substantial run of our DNA data writer! We encoded the English text version of Wikipedia into synthetic DNA molecules using printer technology, our groundbreaking encoding scheme and chemical protocols. The total amount of data came to 16 gigabytes, significantly more digital information than has ever been captured into DNA previously – not to mention orders of magnitude faster and cheaper than chemical synthesis approaches.

This fantastic piece, created by filmmaker Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman (the talent behind our first video) shows how the system functions, and the efforts that went into this moment. Once it’s up to full speed, the system will be capable of encoding a terabit of data per day, or about 125 gigabytes.

We promise the ten-minute video will captivate you, and look forward to putting the system to work encoding pilot customer data, once it’s arrived at our new Boston office! We are already lining up pilot agreements with large companies and organizations across industry and governmental sectors. These groups will work with us over time as we develop both our DNA data storage and computational technologies. Would your organization like to be part of these efforts? If so, please reach out to CATALOG’s Nick Gold.

Our Team Continues to Expand

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It’s always exciting when the team grows, and CATALOG has two new members who have joined us since our winter update.

First is Sean Mihm, who joined us in February as our Mechanical Engineer with an expertise in microfluidics and device automation. Sean is a Georgia Tech graduate with a major in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, who then spent a couple of years in the private sector with a medical device startup. Sean self-identifies as a “maker,” and is able to leverage his passion for engineering and building things as he helps us scale our Terabit-per-day DNA writer up to Petabit scale. When not behind a screen, he enjoys hiking, stepping into the boxing ring at a local gym, tweaking his 3D printer and rebuilding his road bike. He’s looking forward to taking his love of rowing into the Charles, once he can find the time!

Next is Nick Gold, who in April took the role of CATALOG’s VP of Marketing. Nick spent 15 years in business development, solutions architecture, marketing and consulting for a national media technology systems integrator. His previous firm designs, deploys and supports data storage, information management, and workflow automation systems for rich media users. These include some of the top studios and broadcasters, pop stars, as well as government agencies, NGOs, and Fortune 500 firms. Nick is thoroughly excited to be working with CATALOG, as he has been reading about advanced technologies for decades in his favorite works of cyberpunk science fiction. When not geeking-out as an armchair futurologist, Nick enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and camping (admittedly with Kindle in tow).

If you are interested in joining the CATALOG team to help us pioneer DNA-based data storage and computing technologies, visit our website for the latest opportunities. Be sure to check back often as we update the careers page frequently.

In other news…

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In mid-April we moved from the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab to a new office we are calling home at 56 Roland Street in Boston’s historic Charlestown neighborhood. Not only does this afford us our own dedicated lab space and more room to grow our team, but also an annex that will house our DNA writer once it’s been shipped from its current location in the UK.

CATALOG is now officially engaged in our Series A fundraising activities! Our CEO and Co-founder Hyunjun Park was in San Francisco and Silicon Valley meeting with investors for two weeks in the second half of June, and he’ll be back out for additional meetings the week of July 8th.

Hyunjun’s globetrotting has also included speaking at a number of conferences including EmTech ASIA, and a series of events held by MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program in South Korea, Japan and Austria. He also presented at the Digital Asset Symposium, put on by The Association of Moving Image Archivists at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Finally, Hyunjun spoke at the MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference, CATALOG being one of the STEX25 group of startups.

Looking ahead, our VP of Marketing Nick Gold will be moderating a panel on the future of archival technologies at the Sports Video Group’s Sports Content Management Forum on July 24th in New York City. Hyunjun will be speaking in September at the Library of Congress’ Digital Preservation Meeting. On October 7th he’ll present at Long Now Boston, followed by the Fujifilm 11th Annual Global IT Executive Summit which runs October 23rd-26th, and then at Chicago’s Dare Mighty Things conference on October 28th. If you can, plan to join us at one of these events!

CATALOG in the Press

We were thrilled to have CNET cover the inaugural run of our DNA data writer and encoding of Wikipedia. Also exciting was for a link to the story to show up on the front page of reddit, AKA “The front page of the internet,” and as of now the story has 17.2 thousand upvotes on the r/technology subreddit. Needless to say, people feel that CATALOG’s efforts are an intriguing peak at what’s to come with DNA data storage and computing technologies!

We also received some nice coverage, including a video interview with Hyunjun, on the website of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program. CATALOG is proud to be part of the STEX25 group of companies!

Happy Holidays from CATALOG!

Welcome to the team, Albert!

We are welcoming our new software architect, Albert Rodenius. Albert graduated from MIT, where he majored in computer science and minored in physics. After that he has helped design systems for 5G wireless networks, self-driving car radar, and cybersecurity defense. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, playing pool, and embarrassing himself at karaoke.

If you are interested in pioneering the future of data storage with CATALOG, visit our brand new website for the latest opportunities. Be sure to check back often as we update the careers page frequently.

If you have 10 minutes right now, we highly recommend watching this. We worked with the talented filmmaker Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman to produce this video that explains the motivation behind what we are doing as well as to explain our platform. We guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

In other news…

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We celebrated our 2nd anniversary as a company in September and were busy flying around the globe to spread the word about CATALOG at the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon (including a dinner with the Prime Minister of Portugal!), SynBioBeta and TechXpose in San Francisco, GGGF in Seoul, and DEVO in Milan.

Connect with us at the upcoming EmTech Asia in Singapore, the 2019 MIT Japan Conference in Tokyo, MIT Korea Symposium in Seoul, or in Boston if you’re in town!

CATALOG in the Press

Our vision for making DNA-based storage a reality in 2019.

Our vision for making DNA-based storage a reality in 2019.

During this year’s SynBioBeta, we announced our collaboration with Cambridge Consultants in building our PartyBus. When completed early next year, we will be able to encode information in DNA at a speed of 1TB/day, for about 1/1,000,000 the cost of what’s been possible before. We are speaking with companies now for early-access pilot projects in 2019. If you would like to learn more, please get in touch!

We’ve been featured in some awesome articles that cover our progress. A few of them are available here, but visit our website for the full list.

CATALOG News Summer 2018

CATALOG Welcomes New Team Members

We are welcoming three new members to the team. Devin Leake joins us as our new Chief Science Officer. Before joining CATALOG, Devin was the Head of DNA Synthesis at Ginkgo Bioworks and prior to that worked at Gen9, Thermo Fisher, and Dharmacon. Milena Lazova, our new Scientist, was previously a postdoc at MIT and also worked as a solution consultant at SHYFT Analytics. Our newest member, Sarah Flickinger, joins as our Synthetic Biologist and previously worked in the environmental science field.

We’ve also been busy raising more funding, speaking at conferences, and developing our technology. We’ve now raised a total of $9M, including a $4M round in June. We also have additional venture debt funding slated for July. We are thrilled to welcome new investors Prelude Ventures, Line Corporation, and Day One Ventures into our network.

If you were attending the Milken Global Conference this year, you may have seen Hyunjun present during the session, “Things that will blow your mind”. The video of the presentation is available above. Voice of America covered the event and that video is available as well. In April, Swapnil gave a presentation at the XLDB conference at Stanford.

Of course, while all of this was happening, our main focus has been on technical development. We’ve made some exciting strides. Stay tuned for our announcements in the coming months.

Coverage by Voice of America


CATALOG in the Press

All of this excitement led to coverage of CATALOG by the media. WiredXconomyQuartzThe Boston GlobeNew ScientistFortune Term SheetGeek.comWBZ News RadioBiospacePE HubFinSMEsMetro News, and Daily Mail were among the outlets that covered the company. You can find links to selected articles below. Special thanks to Natalie Issa at Day One Ventures for coordinating our PR efforts!

Hello from Boston!

Highlights

  • CATALOG team addition: Dr. Darren Link (CTO)

  • Closed seed round led by NEA

  • Moved into Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab in Boston

  • Upgraded CSO: Nate > Dr. Nate

  • Presented at CUBE Tech Fair 2017 and Pioneers ’17

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CATALOG welcomes its new CTO

CATALOG is proud to introduce our new Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Darren Link. Darren is skilled in developing simple solutions for complex fluid handling problems. He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and spent time as a post-doctoral researcher at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Prior to joining Catalog, Darren was Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer at RainDance Technologies. We look forward to ushering in the age of information storage in DNA with him on board.

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We’ve fully closed our seed round in July! NEA led the priced round syndicate, which included OS Fund as a major investor. To meet the milestones that we’ve set for ourselves with the new funding, we’ve chosen the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab in Boston as our new home. Built with generous donations from Judy and Steve Pagliuca, Life Lab opened in November 2016 to house early stage biotech startups with Harvard affiliate founders. We’ll miss you, San Francisco – if you get a chance to visit Boston, make sure you drop us a note!

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Congrats to Dr. Roquet!

It has been a busy summer for CATALOG to say the least. Aside from closing the seed round, moving to Boston, and bringing on a new CTO, our CSO Nate completed his PhD! Congratulations, Dr. Roquet!

With invitations to speak on the “Breakthrough Innovations in Digital Health” panel at CUBE Tech Fair 2017 Berlin and “Biotech Masterminds” at Pioneers ’17 Vienna, CATALOG made its debut in Europe.

That all the news we have for you this quarter. Until next time, check out our revamped website and logo.

Please join us for Demo Day!

IndieBio Demo Day

It’s hard to believe but we are already almost at the end of our IndieBio program. The grand finale, Demo Day, will take place 2:00 PM – 7:30 PM PST on Thursday, February 9th at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102. We will be presenting the achievements and vision of CATALOG to an audience of 800+. If you haven’t yet, please register for the event using the link below. If you are not able to attend in person, there is an option to register for online live-streaming. Hope to see you there!

Registration Link

Hyunjun giving on overview of CATALOG at the Biomaterials Meetup SF

Hyunjun giving on overview of CATALOG at the Biomaterials Meetup SF

Our Progress

Since our 1kb proof of concept last November, we have been working on reaching our next milestone of encoding a Mb by Demo Day. We are well on our way to achieve that goal. We have also made huge progress in all three layers of our development: coding, biochemistry, and implementation. This includes a 5X more efficient coding scheme, DNA-based parity-checking mechanism, and the use of acoustic liquid handlers, just to name a few. Also, we’re really close to reaching our goal for the seed round!

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You can witness the CATALOG platform at work in this video. For small amounts of information, such as a sentence, we are able to use robotic liquid handlers and just a couple of plates of DNA oligos to get the job done. The robot is hard at work encoding the message, “how catalog encodes information”. This is how we encoded our New Year’s greetings into DNA. (Link)


Some good news from CATALOG

We encoded our first 1kB!

Friends, we are happy to announce that last week, Catalog used its platform technology to encode its first piece of data into DNA. For this proof-of-concept experiment, we chose to immortalize the poem “the Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. In doing this we shattered our major milestone of encoding a 1kB within a month of starting bench work at IndieBio. We are now actively improving upon our encoding scheme, which will allow us to encode more data while taking fewer pipetting steps. We are also working on automating and miniaturizing the process to bring us closer to our goal of encoding 1MB by demo day.

Full text of poem: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/road-not-taken

Historical moment in Catalog’s history

Historical moment in Catalog’s history

Visit to the Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library, with the mission to archive and provide universal access to all of humanity’s knowledge. On 10/26, Internet Archive turned 20 and we had a blast at the birthday party held in their beautiful San Francisco headquarters. In a 1996 video shown at the party, the founder of Internet Archive explained his ambitious vision of storing all 10 terabytes of the internet. They have since grown to store many petabytes of data, in their famous Petabox systems. Dear Internet Archive, we love what you are doing, you are a great friend, and we would love to archive your data in DNA for you!

Internet Archive: https://archive.org/

Catalog co-founders with the founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle

Catalog co-founders with the founder of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle

  • We are almost ready to file our provisional patent. If we promised you a more detailed conversation about our technology, you can expect an email from us in the next few days!

  • We will be featured in “Tomorrow Today” on Deutsche Welle TV in December. If you’re not in Europe, don’t worry — we’ll send you the link when it airs.


We are in week 6 of the IndieBio accelerator program, in downtown San Francisco. We have just completed our first data encoding into DNA, proving the viability of our platform. We leverage combinatorial enzymatic reactions and prefabricated DNA, which will make it economically attractive to use DNA as the major storage medium for long-term archival data storage. If you would like to learn more, have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by replying to this email.

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Introducing CATALOG

Hello world! We are two scientists from MIT with next generation technology to encode digital information into DNA molecules. Our vision is to fit the information content of entire data centers into the palm of your hand. It’s only been a few weeks into our journey, but we have already generated significant interest from all over Silicon Valley. We will keep you updated through bi-monthly newsletters. Stay tuned!

Catalog CEO Hyunjun at the DNA Storage and Hard Drive Panel at SynBioBeta 2016

Catalog CEO Hyunjun at the DNA Storage and Hard Drive Panel at SynBioBeta 2016

About the Founders

Nate and Hyunjun at IndieBio

Nate and Hyunjun at IndieBio

Hyunjun Park (CEO): Former postdoc in Prof. Timothy Lu’s group at MIT, Hyunjun obtained his BS at Seoul National University and PhD at the University of Wisconsin Madison. While in graduate school, Hyunjun worked at the university technology transfer office (WARF) and participated in the Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. Upon coming to Cambridge for his postdoc, he participated in MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service, as well as StartMIT, an intensive training program for startup founders.

Nathaniel Roquet (CTO): Nate is a PhD candidate in the Harvard Biophysics program, conducting his thesis research in Prof Timothy Lu’s lab at MIT. He received his BA in physics from Princeton University. Nathaniel has a deep passion for fostering STEM education, especially with underprivileged or underrepresented youth, participating in various education outreach programs including serving as a teacher/mentor for Science Clubs of Mexico, Science Club for Girls, Citizen Schools, and the MIT Undergraduate Research Opportunity program.


We are two weeks into the accelerator program here at IndieBio, in downtown San Francisco. We are currently in the prototyping stage of our platform, which leverages combinatorial enzymatic reactions to encode information onto prefabricated DNA. This technology will make it economically feasible to use DNA as the major storage medium for long-term archival data storage.

Help Us!
We are actively learning about our potential customers and the data storage needs of the world. If you are able to connect us to people who have a need to archive data for long periods, we would love to talk!