Ginkgo Gulps $100M to Build Synthetic Food, Fragrance Business

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to computing devices manufactured from living organisms “would probably be hybrid devices, like biosensors which interface with both bio-systems and legacy electronics,” Church says in an e-mail to Xconomy.

Church also points to other glimpses of our potential future: Microsoft is researching storing data on strands of DNA, while a $100 million federal government project is trying to reverse engineer the brain to help develop more intuitive software programs.

“The best computer in the world is still the 1 kilogram bio-computer in a human skull,” Church says. “Even though conventional silicon computers can win at Go and Jeopardy games, they consume 200,000 watts to do so, rather than 20 watts for the human brain, and are far less flexible [and] creative.”

Ginkgo’s $100 million Series C round comes from Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, Senator Investment Group, Cascade Investment, Baillie Gifford, Viking Global Investors, and Allen & Company. Previous backers include Felicis Ventures, Data Collective, iGlobe Partners, and Vast Ventures.

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