Skip to comments.Indian-born scientist developing coated DVD's that can make hard disks obsolete -50 Terabyte ...
Posted on 07/11/2006 10:04:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Sydney, Jul 8 (ANI): An Indian born scientist in the US is working on developing DVD's which can be coated with a light -sensitive protein and can store up to 50 terabytes (about 50,000 gigabytes) of data.
Professor V Renugopalakrishnan of the Harvard Medical School in Boston has claimed to have developed a layer of protein made from tiny genetically altered microbe proteins which could store enough data to make computer hard disks almost obsolete.
"What this will do eventually is eliminate the need for hard drive memory completely," ABC quoted Prof. Renugopalakrishnan, a BSc in Chemistry from Madras University and PhD in biophysics from Columbia/State University of New York, Buffalo, New York as saying.
The light-activated protein is found in the membrane of a salt marsh microbe Halobacterium salinarum and is also known as bacteriorhodopsin (bR). It captures and stores sunlight to convert it to chemical energy. When light shines on bR, it is converted to a series of intermediate molecules each with a unique shape and colour before returning to its 'ground state'.
Since the intermediates generally only last for hours or days, Prof Renugopalakrishnan and his colleagues modified the DNA that produces bR protein to produce an intermediate that lasts for more than several years. They also engineered the bR protein to make its intermediates more stable at the high temperatures generated by storing terabytes of data.
This, they said, ultimately paved the way for a binary system to store data.
"The ground state could be the zero and any of the intermediates could be the one," he said.
Prof Renugopalakrishnan now opines that the protein layer could also allow DVDs and other external devices to store terabytes of information.
The new protein-based DVD will have advantages over current optical storage devices such as the Blue-ray as well, because the information is stored in proteins that are only a few nanometres across.
"The protein-based DVDs will be able to store at least 20 times more than the Blue-ray and eventually even up to 50,000 gigabytes (about 50 terabytes) of information. You can pack literally thousands and thousands of those proteins on a media like a DVD, a CD or a film or whatever," he said.
The high-capacity storage devices will be essential to the defence, medical and entertainment industries.
"You have a compelling need that is not going to be met with the existing magnetic storage technology," he added.
However, there's a flip side to it also.
"Science can be used and abused. Making large amounts of information so portable on high-capacity removable storage devices will make it easier for information to fall into the wrong hands. Information can be stolen very quickly. One has to have some safeguards there," he added.
The findings were presented at the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Brisbane this week. (ANI)
Rather far out....
New media had to be developed to store his name.
Well, bacterial contamination, mold or mice will take care of his proteins.
Just don't let your dog near your computer, he might lick off all your files.
That'll be cool... just one disk in the sale racks at Christmas, and it contains 10,000 movies (or more). Of course, you'll never get to see them all because the protein decays...
So, if your computer gets a virus, does that mean it REALLY gets a virus?
Sure....Then I wait 50 years for a file to open up....
Oh, for crying out loud! What the heck does this have anything to do with it??
People could've made the same statement about the 5.25" floppy disk, back in "the day"...and probably did.
This is intriguing technology. I'd be interested in what kind of access speed and transfer rates they're looking at.
And because the disks would only last a few years you would have to keep on repurchasing your movies, music, etc. making the only people that matter, the entertainment industry, even richer.
Well, it could be the resurgence of "The dog ate my homework" excuses.
I like how the key to the incredible density is that you can pack "literally thousands and thousands" of the proteins on there.
Thanks for the link.