50,000GB DVDs

According to this article on QJET we could get a storage boost some time in the future. These disks could Wipe Out Computer HDs, HD-DVDs and Bluray

Professor V Renugopalakrishnan of the Harvard Medical School in Boston claims to have developed a layer of protein made from genetically altered, light-sensitive microbe proteins which could store up to 50K GB or 50 terabytes. The light-activated protein, found in Halobacterium salinarum membrane, is also known as bacteriorhodopsin (bR). It captures and stores sunlight and converts 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’.

By modifying the DNA that produces the bR protein, Prof Renugopalakrishnan and his colleagues were able to produce an intermediate that normally last for a few days to lasts for more than several years. They also engineered the bR protein to be more stable at the high temperatures generated by storing terabytes of data. They said the new technology will ultimately pave the way for a binary system to store data. “What this will do eventually is eliminate the need for hard drive memory completely,” said Renugopalakrishnan.

Prof Renugopalakrishnan believes the protein layer could allow DVDs and other external devices to store terabytes of information.The new protein-based DVD will have advantages over current optical storage devices including next-gen DVD wannabe Bluray and HD-DVD 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 at the International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Brisbane.

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