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Alternative Computing

A number of startups are looking into alternative computing approaches, including DNA computing, to handle rising processing and storage demands, the Wall Street Journal reports.

A Boston-based startup called Catalog Technologies is pursuing DNA-based data storage, and according to the Journal, it relies on molecular biology tools to print synthetic molecules in which to store information and that the data can then be read by sequencing the sample and running it through a proprietary software program to return it to its original text, photo, or video form. The Journal adds that the firm recently showed it could store 14 gigabytes of data from Wikipedia within DNA molecules in a test tube.

Other companies, meanwhile, are exploring quantum computing and other approaches.

But these new approaches are "fraught with risk" for investors, Adam Fisher, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, tells the Journal. He notes that that's because they need new architectures. But still, his firm is looking to invest in quantum computing, it adds.

The Scan

Not Immediately Told

The US National Institutes of Health tells lawmakers that one of its grantees did not immediately report that it had developed a more infectious coronavirus, Science says.

Seems Effective in Kids

The Associated Press reports that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children appears to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic disease.

Intelligence Warning on Bioeconomy Threats

US intelligence warns over China's focus on technologies and data related to the bioeconomy, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Campylobacteriosis Sources, Inherited Retinal Dystrophies, Liver Cancer Prognosis

In PLOS this week: approach to uncover source of Campylobacteriosis, genetic risk factors for inherited retinal dystrophies, and more.