We humans are racing. Some are racing with time, some are racing with each other in order to get ahead of them, some are racing to make this world a better place. And you know what’s one of the most important thing one must possess or even aspire to race? It’s called the speed! Since the invention of all the computing devices, one thing that scientists have always been improving is the computational speed. Yes, speed is important otherwise we wouldn’t have supercomputers, rocket science, mars rovers or 1 gbps download speeds at homes. With every new launch of a smartphone or a computer, manufacturers try to increase the speed by increasing the number of processors or by increasing the efficiency of microprocessors itself. But sooner or later, that is bound to hit a wall. Silicon, with which microprocessors are made, will reach a limit on how much it can scale up the speed and still be efficient. Chip manufacturers need a new material. And here’s where DNA computing swooops in…Millions of supercomputers reside inside living organisms in the form of DNA, the material with which our genes are made up of. They have the potential to perform calculations many folds faster than the fastest computer ever built by humans.
We got a chance to interview Dr. Shalin Shah who is working closely in this field. He just finished his Under Graduate studies in 2015 from Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology and will be starting his Doctoral studies from Duke University, USA in fall’ 2015. So the student community of DAIICT awarded him the doctorate degree even before he started his PhD, after all he was the best student researcher’14 DAIICT. Super Cool, isn’t it!
Let’s know more about his research !
DNA Computing, Chemical Computing, Self Assembly, DNA Storage, Applications of ICT
What is your research about ? Explain with some analogies and/or examples
- Research is mainly about how to use god’s creation such as DNA for human development. A good example can be DNA storage. 1 gm of DNA can store approximately data equivalent to two YouTube videos.
How is your research unique ?
- A lot of people are working in this direction so you may not call it unique exactly but yes this area is unique. Using biological entities as computing models is very fresh area.
How does your research help the people in industry or in academia ?
- Like I said, if DNA based storage medium is forged it can be the new pen drive of our era. Not only this, but the DNA based computers which is anticipated in next few years is a wonderful technology as well. I was able to do compute value of PI using DNA computation.
Where did you get the inspiration about the research (A professor who guided you, or maybe you got inspiration from a peer, or a senior. Describe a little) ?
- Definitely my mentor gets the credit. Prof. Manish K Gupta. He is the one who motivated me to do research and pursue PhD.
Any advice for newbies in this field of research ? Any good competitions/conferences the students should apply for ? How to take a start with research ?
- There are three main conferences in this area. DNA Computing Conference, International Conference on Unconventional Computing and FNANO. For UG people, BioMod and iGEM are great competitions held in US. I think taking part in this competition is great way to start. You can work on some idea given by you mentor, form a team of 10 people and get your hands dirty with research and other interesting projects.
Any outstanding achievement or recognition for the project/research?
- Our research on DNA storage and DNA computing is covered in lot of online blogs and articles. A journalist from The Hindu also covered our research recently in his science and technology blog.
Contact details for the people to reach out to you.
- Website - www.guptalab.org/shalinshah
We are very sure that Shalin’s research work would have inspired or motivated many of you. We would be constantly unearthing the hidden talents all across the country. To read more of our interviews, visit our research blog series. You can also comment down below, anything that you have to say about the article above. If you want your research work to be covered by The College Store, contact us here. And of course, stay tuned for more
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