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Georg Seelig

  • Associate Professor

Appointments

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
Adjunct Associate Professor, Bioengineering

Biography

Georg Seelig is an associate professor of electrical engineering and of computer science and egineering. He is also an adjunct associate professor of bioengineering. Seelig holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Geneva in Switzerland and did postdoctoral work in synthetic biology and DNA nanotechnology at Caltech. He received a Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award at the Scientific Interface in 2008, an NSF Career Award in 2010, a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2011, a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2012 and an ONR Young Investigator Award in 2014.

The Seelig group is interested in understanding how biological organisms process information using complex biochemical networks and how such networks can be engineered to program cellular behavior. The approach combines forward engineering of synthetic RNA-based regulatory circuits with the quantitative characterization of existing RNA-based gene regulatory pathways. Engineered circuits are being applied to problems in disease diagnostics and therapy.

Research Interests

Synthetic biology, molecular programming, DNA nanotechnology, quantitative biology, molecular control circuits.

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11076" align="alignleft" width="599"] This figure illustrates the elementary logic gates and DNA domino representation. a. Two-input OR. b. Thresholding module. c. Two-input AND. First column: logic gate diagram. Second column: DNA domino representation and top view projection. Credit: Nature Nanotechnology[/caption]

Spatial organization as a tool for the spread of materials and information is a well-practiced concept. In Mesopotamia, it was used to coax water through a matrix of small channels to water crops. More recently, it has been used to operate semiconductor circuitry. In nature, spatial organization is used by living cells to control the transmission of molecular signals. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and scientists at Microsoft Research have used spatial organization to build nanoscale computational circuits made of synthetic DNA.

In a July 24th issue of Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers’ article “A spatially localized architecture for fast and modular DNA computing” discussed this method. Like an AND and OR version of the classic logics game, researchers used “DNA dominoes” as a method of propagating information. In this process, “DNA domino" molecules are positioned at regular intervals on a DNA surface. Information is transmitted when DNA dominoes interact with their immediate neighbors in a cascade.

DNA domino circuits mark an important advance in the field. For decades, researchers have puzzled over the use of DNA molecules for computation. The current components of molecular devices are made from strands of synthetic DNA, where the sequence of the strands determines how they interact. Because billions of DNA molecules rely on a slow process of random diffusion to execute a computation, this method is haphazard in speed and efficiency.

DNA dominoes offer a more robust approach. In this process, DNA dominoes are positioned close to each other on the surface, allowing them to interact quickly with their neighbors. This eliminates the need for random diffusion, leading to an order of magnitude increase in speed. This process also allows for DNA domino recycling. Since their physical location and chemical specificity determines what interactions occur, DNA dominoes can be re-used in multiple locations.

The scaffolding for DNA dominoes was assembled through a process called “DNA origami.” The relatively new process enables unprecedented control over complex molecular structures through the joining of long and short DNA strands. In this process, short strands of DNA (staples) are hinged to a single long strand of DNA (the scaffold).

[caption id="attachment_2313" align="alignright" width="200"] Georg Seelig[/caption]

“To build a nanoscale computational circuit, we have to incorporate our individual DNA dominoes into the origami using a special type of extended staple,” PI on the project and UW electrical engineering and computer science and engineering Professor Georg Seelig said. “We do this during the folding process, precisely positioning the DNA molecules on the origami to form a DNA domino.”

The DNA dominoes were assembled into signal transmission lines and elementary Boolean logic gates. By linking the elementary gates together, the researchers were able to create more complex circuits.

This domino approach lays the groundwork for future applications in molecular engineering, offering new opportunities in biosensing, in vitro diagnostics, biomanufacturing and smart therapeutics.

Additional authors on the work include Gourab Chatterjee, a postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Bioengineering, Neil Dalchau and Andrew Phillips, researchers at Microsoft Research and Richard Muscat, a former postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Electrical Engineering.

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Information for this article was gathered from a recent Microsoft Research article on the same topic and the paper presented in Nature Nanotechnology. [post_title] => Researchers construct computational circuit boards with DNA [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => researchers-construct-computational-circuit-boards-with-dna [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-24 16:37:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-24 23:37:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11075 [menu_order] => 17 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7927 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2016-10-24 16:26:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-24 23:26:54 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7928" align="alignleft" width="449"]The award- winning Molecular Information Systems Lab research team includes: Front (left to right) — Bichlien Nguyen, Lee Organick, Hsing-Yeh Parker, Siena Dumas Ang, Chris Takahashi; Back (left to right): James Bornholt, Yuan-Jyue Chen, Georg Seelig, Randolph Lopez, Luis Ceze, Karin Strauss. Not pictured: Doug Carmean, Rob Carlson.Tara Brown Photography/University of Washington The award-winning Molecular Information Systems Lab research team includes: Front (left to right) — Bichlien Nguyen, Lee Organick, Hsing-Yeh Parker, Siena Dumas Ang, Chris Takahashi; Back (left to right): James Bornholt, Yuan-Jyue Chen, Georg Seelig, Randolph Lopez, Luis Ceze, Karin Strauss. Not pictured: Doug Carmean, Rob Carlson.Tara Brown Photography/University of Washington[/caption]

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering Georg Seelig and collaborators at UW CSE and Microsoft received the "Best of What's New" Award from Popular Science for their work on DNA storage.

In the 2016 “Best of What’s New” Awards announced Wednesday, Popular Science recognized the technique developed by UW and Microsoft researchers to store and retrieve digital data in DNA as one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year.

Seelig and the team from the UW Molecular Information Systems Lab announced in July that they had broken the world record for the amount of digital data successfully encoded and retrieved in DNA molecules, which are a much denser and more durable long-term storage medium than current archival technologies like hard drives or magnetic tape.

They successfully encoded and decoded a video by the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Gutenberg and the Crop Trust’s seed database — among other things— all on strands of DNA. The researchers have developed a novel approach to converting the long strings of ones and zeroes in digital data into the four basic building blocks of DNA sequences — adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine – as well as the ability to retrieve specific files from those sequences.

The team is currently focusing on automating and scaling up the DNA data storage technique, which was recognized in Popular Science’s software category.

“The Best of What’s New awards honor the innovations that shape the future,” said Kevin Gray, executive editor of Popular Science. “From life-saving technology to incredible space engineering to gadgets that are just breathtakingly cool, this is the best of what’s new.”

The award is collaboration between UW researchers Seelig and Luis Ceze, Torode Family Career Development Professor of computer science and engineering; Microsoft principal project researchers Karin Strauss and Doug Carmean; and a team of two dozen students and researchers from both institutions.

Learn more about the DNA data storage project in this UWTV video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgOlfRcsowI [post_title] => Professor Georg Seelig and Collaborators Win "Best of What's New" Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => professor-georg-seelig-and-collaborators-win-best-of-whats-new-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-15 15:41:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-15 23:41:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=7927 [menu_order] => 111 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5185 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-15 20:32:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-15 20:32:50 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-07-14at4.30.11PMElectrical engineering professors, Dr. Georg Seelig and Dr. Shwetak Patel, received the Microsoft Research’s 2016 Outstanding Collaborator Award. The award highlights and celebrates the amazing academics who have worked with the company on research initiatives. Since its founding in 1991, Microsoft Research (MSR) is dedicated to a model of open collaboration with academia. For Seelig and Patel, this partnership has turned into a sizable portfolio of research projects. Most recently, Seelig’s work on DNA storage with MSR and the UW’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering has gained international recognition for stretching the limits of previous research. MSR commends the long-term significance of this collaboration, noting that next steps will involve implementation for disease detection and diagnosis. Patel’s partnership with MSR is deep-rooted, beginning when he entered the University of Washington and with his Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship. Patel has steered several research and leadership initiatives with MSR, including the groundbreaking development of the UW-Tsinghua-Microsoft Global Innovation Exchange. He’s demonstrated a deep dedication to student enrichment by sending over 10 of his UbiComp Lab students to MSR for internships. Congratulations to Computer Science and Engineering Professor Ed Lazowska for also receiving an MSR Outstanding Collaborator Award. Lazowska is honored with the award for his continued dedication to the impact of research and development of collaborative initiatives. [post_title] => Microsoft's Prestigious Collaborator Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ee-professors-receive-microsofts-prestigious-collaborator-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-15 15:27:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-15 23:27:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5185 [menu_order] => 129 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5159 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-11 20:34:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-11 20:34:41 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-07-08at3.10.52PMElectrical Engineering Assistant Professor George Seelig, along with Luis Ceze, UW’s Torode Family Career Development Professor of computer science and engineering (CSE) and Karin Strauss, a researcher at Microsoft and affiliate professor for the CSE Department, reached a new milestone in the revolutionary process of DNA data storage. The team of researchers encoded and decoded this video of the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Gutenberg and the Crop Trust’s seed database — among other things — all on strands of DNA. This hefty amount of data has never before been pocketed into microscopic stings of DNA. This significant advancement has garnered recent attention from industry and research communities, including a recent article in Scientific American, a video from Microsoft and article in Newsweek, among others. This past week, an in-depth interview with Professor Ceze was published on UW Today. For more information: [post_title] => World Record in DNA Storage [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => professor-seelig-achieves-world-record-in-dna-storage [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-13 22:37:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-13 22:37:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5159 [menu_order] => 133 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5078 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-05 20:17:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-05 20:17:07 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-06-20at10.54.46AMElectrical Engineering Associate Professor Georg Seelig, along with Computer Science and Engineering Professor Luis Ceze and Microsoft’s Karin Strauss, developed an original encoding system that can be copied onto DNA. The sequence was presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference and was recently mentioned in a May 31 Scientific American article. Within the last decade, engineers and scientists have demonstrated the opportunities in storing complex data conveniently in the highly compactible and resilient DNA. Because of its size, DNA can hold billions of gigabytes of data in about half a millimeter – or the size of a grain of salt. Seelig, along with his two colleagues, uploaded three image files – each containing tens of kilobytes – in 40,000 strands of DNA. The three researchers then read the strand and concluded that there were no errors. “How you go from ones and zeroes to As, Gs, Cs and Ts really matters because if you use a smart approach, you can make it very dense and you don't get a lot of errors," said Professor Seelig. "If you do it wrong, you get a lot of mistakes." In our current state, the amount of data we produce has a limited shelf life. By the year 2020, our digital universe – the teeming pieces of data packed in our digital files – will reach 44 trillion gigabytes.

At most, our trillions of gigabytes of final papers, medical records, financial documents, and travel photos can last about 30 years due to memory space capacity. DNA storage saves us space and gives us time – thousands of years, in fact. This collaboration between industries, researchers and, fundamentally, nature and technology offers a robust approach, which will alter the way we think about digital storage. See also:

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That day is likely not far way, thanks to a team of UW and Microsoft researchers who have developed a new method for storing data in synthetic DNA, which addresses the critical need for long-term data storage. The research team, which includes electrical engineering and computer science & engineering Associate Professor Georg Seelig, has tackled several of the outstanding key issues for making DNA storage practical. The research was undertaken by researchers in the Molecular Information Systems Lab housed in the UW Electrical Engineering Building, in close collaboration with Microsoft Research. Co-authors include Luis Ceze, UW associate professor of computer science and engineering. DNA molecules can store information several million times more densely than existing digital storage methods, from flash drives to hard drives. Available storage capacity is not only unable to keep up with demand, but current storage mediums are only reliable for up to 30 years. To address the error rate of DNA synthesis and sequencing, the researchers invented a new encoding scheme that allows data to be more reliably extracted. Another obstacle is efficiently reading data in DNA-based storage. Currently, to read a single byte that is in storage requires the entire DNA pool to be sequenced and decoded. To allow access to specific pieces of data, the researchers developed a new method to amplify only the desired information so that the sequencing is biased toward the data. The result is faster, more efficient retrieval. The researchers recently presented their paper at the ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems. 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the elementary logic gates and DNA domino representation. a. Two-input OR. b. Thresholding module. c. Two-input AND. First column: logic gate diagram. Second column: DNA domino representation and top view projection. Credit: Nature Nanotechnology[/caption] Spatial organization as a tool for the spread of materials and information is a well-practiced concept. In Mesopotamia, it was used to coax water through a matrix of small channels to water crops. More recently, it has been used to operate semiconductor circuitry. In nature, spatial organization is used by living cells to control the transmission of molecular signals. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and scientists at Microsoft Research have used spatial organization to build nanoscale computational circuits made of synthetic DNA. In a July 24th issue of Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers’ article “A spatially localized architecture for fast and modular DNA computing” discussed this method. Like an AND and OR version of the classic logics game, researchers used “DNA dominoes” as a method of propagating information. In this process, “DNA domino" molecules are positioned at regular intervals on a DNA surface. Information is transmitted when DNA dominoes interact with their immediate neighbors in a cascade. DNA domino circuits mark an important advance in the field. For decades, researchers have puzzled over the use of DNA molecules for computation. The current components of molecular devices are made from strands of synthetic DNA, where the sequence of the strands determines how they interact. Because billions of DNA molecules rely on a slow process of random diffusion to execute a computation, this method is haphazard in speed and efficiency. DNA dominoes offer a more robust approach. In this process, DNA dominoes are positioned close to each other on the surface, allowing them to interact quickly with their neighbors. This eliminates the need for random diffusion, leading to an order of magnitude increase in speed. This process also allows for DNA domino recycling. Since their physical location and chemical specificity determines what interactions occur, DNA dominoes can be re-used in multiple locations. The scaffolding for DNA dominoes was assembled through a process called “DNA origami.” The relatively new process enables unprecedented control over complex molecular structures through the joining of long and short DNA strands. In this process, short strands of DNA (staples) are hinged to a single long strand of DNA (the scaffold). [caption id="attachment_2313" align="alignright" width="200"] Georg Seelig[/caption] “To build a nanoscale computational circuit, we have to incorporate our individual DNA dominoes into the origami using a special type of extended staple,” PI on the project and UW electrical engineering and computer science and engineering Professor Georg Seelig said. “We do this during the folding process, precisely positioning the DNA molecules on the origami to form a DNA domino.” The DNA dominoes were assembled into signal transmission lines and elementary Boolean logic gates. By linking the elementary gates together, the researchers were able to create more complex circuits. This domino approach lays the groundwork for future applications in molecular engineering, offering new opportunities in biosensing, in vitro diagnostics, biomanufacturing and smart therapeutics. Additional authors on the work include Gourab Chatterjee, a postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Bioengineering, Neil Dalchau and Andrew Phillips, researchers at Microsoft Research and Richard Muscat, a former postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Electrical Engineering.

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Information for this article was gathered from a recent Microsoft Research article on the same topic and the paper presented in Nature Nanotechnology. [post_title] => Researchers construct computational circuit boards with DNA [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => researchers-construct-computational-circuit-boards-with-dna [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-24 16:37:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-24 23:37:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11075 [menu_order] => 17 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7927 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2016-10-24 16:26:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-24 23:26:54 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7928" align="alignleft" width="449"]The award- winning Molecular Information Systems Lab research team includes: Front (left to right) — Bichlien Nguyen, Lee Organick, Hsing-Yeh Parker, Siena Dumas Ang, Chris Takahashi; Back (left to right): James Bornholt, Yuan-Jyue Chen, Georg Seelig, Randolph Lopez, Luis Ceze, Karin Strauss. Not pictured: Doug Carmean, Rob Carlson.Tara Brown Photography/University of Washington The award-winning Molecular Information Systems Lab research team includes: Front (left to right) — Bichlien Nguyen, Lee Organick, Hsing-Yeh Parker, Siena Dumas Ang, Chris Takahashi; Back (left to right): James Bornholt, Yuan-Jyue Chen, Georg Seelig, Randolph Lopez, Luis Ceze, Karin Strauss. Not pictured: Doug Carmean, Rob Carlson.Tara Brown Photography/University of Washington[/caption]

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering Georg Seelig and collaborators at UW CSE and Microsoft received the "Best of What's New" Award from Popular Science for their work on DNA storage.

In the 2016 “Best of What’s New” Awards announced Wednesday, Popular Science recognized the technique developed by UW and Microsoft researchers to store and retrieve digital data in DNA as one of the most innovative and game-changing technologies of the year.

Seelig and the team from the UW Molecular Information Systems Lab announced in July that they had broken the world record for the amount of digital data successfully encoded and retrieved in DNA molecules, which are a much denser and more durable long-term storage medium than current archival technologies like hard drives or magnetic tape.

They successfully encoded and decoded a video by the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Gutenberg and the Crop Trust’s seed database — among other things— all on strands of DNA. The researchers have developed a novel approach to converting the long strings of ones and zeroes in digital data into the four basic building blocks of DNA sequences — adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine – as well as the ability to retrieve specific files from those sequences.

The team is currently focusing on automating and scaling up the DNA data storage technique, which was recognized in Popular Science’s software category.

“The Best of What’s New awards honor the innovations that shape the future,” said Kevin Gray, executive editor of Popular Science. “From life-saving technology to incredible space engineering to gadgets that are just breathtakingly cool, this is the best of what’s new.”

The award is collaboration between UW researchers Seelig and Luis Ceze, Torode Family Career Development Professor of computer science and engineering; Microsoft principal project researchers Karin Strauss and Doug Carmean; and a team of two dozen students and researchers from both institutions.

Learn more about the DNA data storage project in this UWTV video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgOlfRcsowI [post_title] => Professor Georg Seelig and Collaborators Win "Best of What's New" Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => professor-georg-seelig-and-collaborators-win-best-of-whats-new-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-15 15:41:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-15 23:41:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=7927 [menu_order] => 111 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5185 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-15 20:32:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-15 20:32:50 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-07-14at4.30.11PMElectrical engineering professors, Dr. Georg Seelig and Dr. Shwetak Patel, received the Microsoft Research’s 2016 Outstanding Collaborator Award. The award highlights and celebrates the amazing academics who have worked with the company on research initiatives. Since its founding in 1991, Microsoft Research (MSR) is dedicated to a model of open collaboration with academia. For Seelig and Patel, this partnership has turned into a sizable portfolio of research projects. Most recently, Seelig’s work on DNA storage with MSR and the UW’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering has gained international recognition for stretching the limits of previous research. MSR commends the long-term significance of this collaboration, noting that next steps will involve implementation for disease detection and diagnosis. Patel’s partnership with MSR is deep-rooted, beginning when he entered the University of Washington and with his Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship. Patel has steered several research and leadership initiatives with MSR, including the groundbreaking development of the UW-Tsinghua-Microsoft Global Innovation Exchange. He’s demonstrated a deep dedication to student enrichment by sending over 10 of his UbiComp Lab students to MSR for internships. Congratulations to Computer Science and Engineering Professor Ed Lazowska for also receiving an MSR Outstanding Collaborator Award. Lazowska is honored with the award for his continued dedication to the impact of research and development of collaborative initiatives. [post_title] => Microsoft's Prestigious Collaborator Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ee-professors-receive-microsofts-prestigious-collaborator-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-15 15:27:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-15 23:27:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5185 [menu_order] => 129 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5159 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-11 20:34:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-11 20:34:41 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-07-08at3.10.52PMElectrical Engineering Assistant Professor George Seelig, along with Luis Ceze, UW’s Torode Family Career Development Professor of computer science and engineering (CSE) and Karin Strauss, a researcher at Microsoft and affiliate professor for the CSE Department, reached a new milestone in the revolutionary process of DNA data storage. The team of researchers encoded and decoded this video of the band OK Go, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in more than 100 languages, the top 100 books of Project Gutenberg and the Crop Trust’s seed database — among other things — all on strands of DNA. This hefty amount of data has never before been pocketed into microscopic stings of DNA. This significant advancement has garnered recent attention from industry and research communities, including a recent article in Scientific American, a video from Microsoft and article in Newsweek, among others. This past week, an in-depth interview with Professor Ceze was published on UW Today. For more information: [post_title] => World Record in DNA Storage [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => professor-seelig-achieves-world-record-in-dna-storage [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-09-13 22:37:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-09-13 22:37:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5159 [menu_order] => 133 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 5078 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-07-05 20:17:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-05 20:17:07 [post_content] => ScreenShot2016-06-20at10.54.46AMElectrical Engineering Associate Professor Georg Seelig, along with Computer Science and Engineering Professor Luis Ceze and Microsoft’s Karin Strauss, developed an original encoding system that can be copied onto DNA. The sequence was presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference and was recently mentioned in a May 31 Scientific American article. Within the last decade, engineers and scientists have demonstrated the opportunities in storing complex data conveniently in the highly compactible and resilient DNA. Because of its size, DNA can hold billions of gigabytes of data in about half a millimeter – or the size of a grain of salt. Seelig, along with his two colleagues, uploaded three image files – each containing tens of kilobytes – in 40,000 strands of DNA. The three researchers then read the strand and concluded that there were no errors. “How you go from ones and zeroes to As, Gs, Cs and Ts really matters because if you use a smart approach, you can make it very dense and you don't get a lot of errors," said Professor Seelig. "If you do it wrong, you get a lot of mistakes." In our current state, the amount of data we produce has a limited shelf life. By the year 2020, our digital universe – the teeming pieces of data packed in our digital files – will reach 44 trillion gigabytes.

At most, our trillions of gigabytes of final papers, medical records, financial documents, and travel photos can last about 30 years due to memory space capacity. DNA storage saves us space and gives us time – thousands of years, in fact. This collaboration between industries, researchers and, fundamentally, nature and technology offers a robust approach, which will alter the way we think about digital storage. See also:

[post_title] => Scientific American Highlights Professor George Seelig's Research in DNA Storage [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => scientific-american-highlights-professor-george-seeligs-research-in-dna-storage [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-07-05 20:17:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-07-05 20:17:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=5078 [menu_order] => 147 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4764 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2016-04-09 22:41:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-04-09 22:41:38 [post_content] => dnastorage2.5Imagine storing pictures, videos and documents in synthetic DNA molecules. That day is likely not far way, thanks to a team of UW and Microsoft researchers who have developed a new method for storing data in synthetic DNA, which addresses the critical need for long-term data storage. The research team, which includes electrical engineering and computer science & engineering Associate Professor Georg Seelig, has tackled several of the outstanding key issues for making DNA storage practical. The research was undertaken by researchers in the Molecular Information Systems Lab housed in the UW Electrical Engineering Building, in close collaboration with Microsoft Research. Co-authors include Luis Ceze, UW associate professor of computer science and engineering. DNA molecules can store information several million times more densely than existing digital storage methods, from flash drives to hard drives. Available storage capacity is not only unable to keep up with demand, but current storage mediums are only reliable for up to 30 years. To address the error rate of DNA synthesis and sequencing, the researchers invented a new encoding scheme that allows data to be more reliably extracted. Another obstacle is efficiently reading data in DNA-based storage. Currently, to read a single byte that is in storage requires the entire DNA pool to be sequenced and decoded. To allow access to specific pieces of data, the researchers developed a new method to amplify only the desired information so that the sequencing is biased toward the data. The result is faster, more efficient retrieval. The researchers recently presented their paper at the ACM International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems. See Also: [post_title] => UW and Microsoft Research Team Stores Data in Synthetic DNA [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => uw-and-microsoft-research-team-stores-data-in-synthetic-dna [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-22 22:51:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-04-22 22:51:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=4764 [menu_order] => 160 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11075 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-07-24 16:22:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-24 23:22:39 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11076" align="alignleft" width="599"] This figure illustrates the elementary logic gates and DNA domino representation. a. Two-input OR. b. Thresholding module. c. Two-input AND. First column: logic gate diagram. Second column: DNA domino representation and top view projection. Credit: Nature Nanotechnology[/caption] Spatial organization as a tool for the spread of materials and information is a well-practiced concept. In Mesopotamia, it was used to coax water through a matrix of small channels to water crops. More recently, it has been used to operate semiconductor circuitry. In nature, spatial organization is used by living cells to control the transmission of molecular signals. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) and scientists at Microsoft Research have used spatial organization to build nanoscale computational circuits made of synthetic DNA. In a July 24th issue of Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers’ article “A spatially localized architecture for fast and modular DNA computing” discussed this method. Like an AND and OR version of the classic logics game, researchers used “DNA dominoes” as a method of propagating information. In this process, “DNA domino" molecules are positioned at regular intervals on a DNA surface. Information is transmitted when DNA dominoes interact with their immediate neighbors in a cascade. DNA domino circuits mark an important advance in the field. For decades, researchers have puzzled over the use of DNA molecules for computation. The current components of molecular devices are made from strands of synthetic DNA, where the sequence of the strands determines how they interact. Because billions of DNA molecules rely on a slow process of random diffusion to execute a computation, this method is haphazard in speed and efficiency. DNA dominoes offer a more robust approach. In this process, DNA dominoes are positioned close to each other on the surface, allowing them to interact quickly with their neighbors. This eliminates the need for random diffusion, leading to an order of magnitude increase in speed. This process also allows for DNA domino recycling. Since their physical location and chemical specificity determines what interactions occur, DNA dominoes can be re-used in multiple locations. The scaffolding for DNA dominoes was assembled through a process called “DNA origami.” The relatively new process enables unprecedented control over complex molecular structures through the joining of long and short DNA strands. In this process, short strands of DNA (staples) are hinged to a single long strand of DNA (the scaffold). [caption id="attachment_2313" align="alignright" width="200"] Georg Seelig[/caption] “To build a nanoscale computational circuit, we have to incorporate our individual DNA dominoes into the origami using a special type of extended staple,” PI on the project and UW electrical engineering and computer science and engineering Professor Georg Seelig said. “We do this during the folding process, precisely positioning the DNA molecules on the origami to form a DNA domino.” The DNA dominoes were assembled into signal transmission lines and elementary Boolean logic gates. By linking the elementary gates together, the researchers were able to create more complex circuits. This domino approach lays the groundwork for future applications in molecular engineering, offering new opportunities in biosensing, in vitro diagnostics, biomanufacturing and smart therapeutics. Additional authors on the work include Gourab Chatterjee, a postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Bioengineering, Neil Dalchau and Andrew Phillips, researchers at Microsoft Research and Richard Muscat, a former postdoctoral researcher in the UW Department of Electrical Engineering.

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Information for this article was gathered from a recent Microsoft Research article on the same topic and the paper presented in Nature Nanotechnology. [post_title] => Researchers construct computational circuit boards with DNA [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => researchers-construct-computational-circuit-boards-with-dna [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-24 16:37:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-24 23:37:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11075 [menu_order] => 17 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 7 [max_num_pages] => 2 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => c8d7a288f41ef915830ee786c244d1b4 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
 

Representative Publications

  • Sherry Xi Chen2, David Yu Zhang, and Georg Seelig, Conditionally fluorescent molecular probes for detecting single base changes in double-stranded DNA, Nature Chemistry 5, 782-789 (2013).
  • Yuan-Jyue Chen2, Neil Dalchau, Niranjan Srinivas, Andrew Phillips, Luca Cardelli, David Soloveichik1, and Georg Seelig, Programmable chemical controllers made from DNA, Nature Nanotechnology 8, 755-762 (2013).
  • Timothy Strovas, Alex Rosenberg, Richard Muscat, Brianna Kuypers, and Georg Seelig, MicroRNA-based single-gene circuits buffer protein synthesis rates against perturbations, ACS Synthetic Biology 3, 324 (2014).
  • Alexander B. Rosenberg, Rupali Pathwardhan, Jay Shendure, and Georg Seelig, Learning the Sequence Determinants of Alternative Splicing from Millions of Random Sequences, Cell 163, 698 (2015).
  • Benjamin Groves*, Yuan-Jyue Chen*, Chiara Zurla*, Sergii Pochekailov1, Jonathan L. Kirschman, Philip Santangelo and Georg Seelig, Computing in mammalian cells with nucleic acid strand exchange, Nature Nanotechnology 11, 287–294 (2016).
  • James Bornholt, Randolph Lopez, Douglas M. Carmean, Luis Ceze, Georg Seelig, and Karin Strauss, A DNA-Based Archival Storage System, ASPLOS (2016).
Georg Seelig Headshot

Associated Labs

Research Areas

Education

  • Ph.D., Physics, 2003
    University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Diploma Physics, 1999
    University of Basel, Switzerland