A unique solution for co-storing biological material with its associated information
GeneEver has developed a new technology for co-storing biological material with its associated information
Background Some plants begin life as a seed, a seed that can easily be preserved, in e.g. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, and planted when we need it in the future. Other crops are dependent on preservation of the living plant itself to be able to guarantee its existence in the future. With the latter, the cryopreservation-method, in which a piece of the biological material is frozen, can be the solution. To be able to utilize the biological materi- al in the future, it is also necessary to have access to the information related to the plant. Information that describes the seeds, how they are grown, the health status of the plant, how to utilise the crops, photos etc. Thus far, the information and the plant material have been stored in different lo- cations. The data could be stored on pa- per, hard drives, CD’s or similar, where there is no direct connection with the bi- ological material. If the data is digital, it has to be transferred from one digital storage medium to the next due to short lifespan of hardware, in order to survive with the plant. GeneEver combines unique biotechnology with unique data storage technology and offers long term co-preservation of seeds and living plant material combined with its associated data and information. This is a new, comprehensive solution that guarantees access to fresh and healthy food coupled with the information on how it can be cultivated in the future.
The Cryo method Thecryomethodhasbecomeanincreasingly usedand recognised tool to keep livingplant material alive all across the world. The method consists of placing small shot tips from the living plant in liquid nitrogen (N2 -196°Celsius), a solid method that safe- guards all the genetic information. The related information is just as important! Piql has developed a new storage technology that can secure access to the information concerning the biological ma- terial in the future. Piql solves the challenges related to developments in technology with a unique, migration free and “self- contained” storage solution for digital and visual (i.e. human readable) information. The storage medium has unique long-term attributes that become even better when the storage medium is stored in a cold and dry climate (e.g. at Svalbard). • Migration free implies that the data does not have to be transferred from one storage medium to another due to obsolescence of the storage medium itself or related hardware or software. With Piql’s solution the data is written to Piql’s storage medi- um once – and it will stay there, until some- one needs to read it back, e.g. when other storage systems are no longer accessible or fail. Today’s storage technology has a life- span of typically 5 years. Who has a com- puter older than 5 years? • “Self-contained” implies that all the infor- mation needed to retrieve the data in the future is contained on the storage medium in clear text, making it possible to read and
understand how to use future “off-the-shelf” technology to read back the data. On con- ventional storage technology (e.g. hard disk, CD or magnetic tape), there is no such clear text information available, and you would need specific technology to read the data back. Reading back data from Piql’s technology in the future can be done independently of specific vendors. One would only need a light source, a digital camera and a com- puter of some sort. If these three things ex- ist in the future, the data will always be retrievable. Piql’s storage technology is by far the most sustainable storage technology on the mar- ket. It requires minimal or zero energy (when e.g. data is stored at Svalbard) to keep the data alive for future generations.
Cryobox We have, with support from Oslofjord Regional Research Fund, the Research Council of Norway, Innovation Norway in cooperation with Sagaplant, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Norner and EGGS Design developed the Cryobox. The Cryobox is designed in a way which allows the biological material and the related information to be cryo preserved together. This way, one does not need to keep a separate archive to be able to access the information in the future. Apart fromSagaplant inNorway, theCryobox has been tested by Luke Natural Resources Institute in Finland and theCatholic University of Leuven in Belgium.
Cryobox makes it possible to co-store seeds, cryo preserved biological material, and information stored on piqlFilm, all together in the same box.