'Recordable' proteins as next-generation memory storage materials

Feb 11, 2008

Move over, compact discs, DVDs, and hard drives. Researchers in Japan report progress toward developing a new protein-based memory device that could provide an alternative to conventional magnetic and optical storage systems, which are quickly approaching their memory storage capacities. Their study is scheduled for the March 4 issue of ACS’ Langmuir.

Just as nature chose proteins as the memory storage medium of the brain, scientists have spent years exploring the possibility of similarly using proteins and other biological materials to build memory-based devices with the potential for processing information faster and providing greater storage capacity than existing materials.

Although a few protein-based memory materials have shown promise in experimental studies, developing such materials for practical use remains a challenge.

In the new study, Tetsuro Majima and colleagues used a special fluorescent protein to etch or “record” a specific information pattern on a glass slide. Using a novel combination of light and chemicals, the researchers demonstrated that they could “read” the pattern and subsequently erase it at will.

Thus, they demonstrated that the proteins could provide storage, playback, and erasure of information, the hallmarks of a successful memory device, the researchers say. In addition to conventional memory storage devices, the proteins also show promise for improved biosensors and diagnostic tests, they say.

Source: American Chemical Society

Explore further: Chemical biologists find new halogenation enzyme

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hip-hip-Hadoop: Data mining for science

May 28, 2013

The model of distributed calculations, where a problem is broken down into distinct parts that can be solved individually on a computer and then recombined, has been around for decades. Divide-and-conquer ...

Recommended for you

Chemical biologists find new halogenation enzyme

13 hours ago

Molecules containing carbon-halogen bonds are produced naturally across all kingdoms of life and constitute a large family of natural products with a broad range of biological activities. The presence of halogen substituents ...

Protein secrets of Ebola virus

19 hours ago

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which has claimed more than 2000 lives, has highlighted the need for a deeper understanding of the molecular biology of the virus that could be critical in ...

Protein courtship revealed through chemist's lens

19 hours ago

Staying clear of diseases requires that the proteins in our cells cooperate with one another. But, it has been a well-guarded secret how tens of thousands of different proteins find the correct dancing partners ...

Decoding 'sweet codes' that determine protein fates

21 hours ago

We often experience difficulties in identifying the accurate shape of dynamic and fluctuating objects. This is especially the case in the nanoscale world of biomolecules. The research group lead by Professor Koichi Kato of ...

Science to the rescue of art

Sep 14, 2014

Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" are losing their yellow cheer and the unsettling apricot horizon in Edvard Munch's "The Scream" is turning a dull ivory.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

zevkirsh
not rated yet Feb 11, 2008
when i saw the title i first thought , this sounds like someone announcing the existance of the human brain on some new drug.
MoWright
not rated yet Feb 12, 2008
The potential for organic devices in our future is immense. Nature has many uses for us if we are persistent enough to find the answers.