'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: New chip promising for tumor-targeting research

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

New chip promising for tumor-targeting research

18 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Researchers have developed a chip capable of simulating a tumor's "microenvironment" and plan to use the new system to test the effectiveness of nanoparticles and drugs that target cancer.

New star-shaped molecule breakthrough

Sep 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of interlocking rings, which is the most complex of its kind ever created.

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

Sep 19, 2014

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

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.