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Indian-born scientist developing coated DVD’s for 50 terabytes (50000GB)

Posted by Parth Barot on July 13, 2006

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.

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