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About this Video

Evolution invented DNA as a way to store genetic blueprints, but technologists are now harnessing it to extend the idea of DNA as “information technology” in the realm of biology. Marblestone explains how understanding DNA as an information-based system has caused scientists to re-think basic principles of engineering and design. If we see DNA as a building component –like a Lego brick- or an information repository -like a barcode- we can use such analogies to think creatively about design in biotechnology.

Adam Marblestone, a Hertz Foundation Fellow in the Biophysics PhD program at Harvard, is pursuing technology development at the intersection of physical science, information science, and biology.

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About the Speaker

Adam Marblestone

Adam Marblestone

Adam Marblestone is a Hertz Foundation Fellow in the inter-departmental Biophysics PhD program at Harvard. Adam is interested in developing rich interfaces between information technology and biological systems, and in broadly accelerating science and technology. Adam’s scientific career began with theoretical studies of quantum nonlocality and nonlinear information processing in quantum mechanical systems, under the guidance of physicist Michel Devoret. While an undergrad at Yale, he interned with the Biomolecular Nanotechnology Group at Harvard Medical School, under the mentorship of William Shih and Shawn Douglas.

There, he co-authored caDNAno, the first graphical software tool for computer aided design of three-dimensional DNA nanostructures. Adam learned molecular biology in the laboratory of George Church at Harvard and explored digital fabrication at the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. With collaborators and mentors at the Wyss Institute and elsewhere, Adam is currently developing methods for using DNA molecules as substrates for information storage and nano-manipulation inside and outside of cells.