Yaniv Erlich - COLLOQUIUM LECTURE - RESCHEDULED FROM 10/4/18
In the last decade, the human population has produced zettabytes (10^21)
of digital data. This creates immense opportunities and challenges for
biology research. In this talk, I will present two research directions
on the intersection between genetics and data, which we dub "genetic media".
First, I will speak about crowd sourcing massive genetic data using
social media. We collected over 80 million profiles from the largest
social-media website driven by genealogy and constructed a single family
tree of 13 million people. Using this data, we analyzed the genetic
architecture of longevity. I will also speak about our on-going efforts
to crowd source genomes and social media phenotypes to this massive
In the second part of my talk, I will present using synthetic DNA as a
medium for long-term data storage. Previous studies in leading journal
have presented this concept but failed to show reliable data retrieval.
Here, we report a storage strategy, called DNA Fountain, that is highly
robust and approaches the Shannon limit. The success of our strategy
relies on careful adaptation of coding theory to the domain-specific
constraints of DNA molecules. To demonstrate its power, we stored a
full computer operating system, movie, and other files in DNA oligos and
perfectly retrieved the information. We explored the limit of our
architecture in terms of bytes per molecules and obtained a perfect
retrieval from a density of 215Petabyte/gram of DNA, orders of
magnitudes higher than previous techniques.
Dr. Yaniv Erlich is the Chief Science Officer of MyHeritage.com and an
Associate Professor of Computer Science and Computational Biology at
Columbia University (leave of absence). Prior to these positions, he was
a Fellow at the Whitehead Institute, MIT, where he ran his own lab. Dr.
Erlich received his bachelor's degree from Tel-Aviv University, Israel (2006)
and a PhD from the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring
Harbor Laboratory (2010). Dr. Erlich's research interests are computational
human genetics. Dr. Erlich is the recipient of DARPA's Young Faculty Award
(2017), the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award (2013), Harold M. Weintraub award
(2010), the IEEE/ACM-CS HPC award (2008), and he was selected as one of 2010
Tomorrow's PIs team of Genome Technology.
Refreshments will be served from 14:15
Lecture starts at 14:30