Headline May 20, 2019/ '' ' STORING -INFO IN MOLECULES- STUDENTS ' ''



''THINK STORING THE CONTENTS of  the New York Public Library, or the Whole of Grand India, or the whole of Proud Pakistan - with a teaspoon of protein,'' says Brian Cafferty,

Brian Cafferty, first author on the paper that describes the new technique and a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of George Whitesides, the Woodward 1, and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at    Harvard University.

The work was performed in collaboration with Milan Marksich and his group at North Western University.

Books can burn, computers get hacked. DVDs degrade. Technologies to store information - ink on paper, computers, CDs and DVDs, and even DNA - continue to improve.

And yet, threats as simple as water and as complex as cyber-attacks can still corrupt our records.

As the data boom continues to boom, more and information gets filed in less and less space. Even the cloud - whose name promises opaque, endless space - will eventually run out of space, can't thwart all the hackers, all gobbles up energy.

*Now, a new way to store information could stably house data for millions of years, lives outside the hackable Internet, and once written, uses no energy*.

All you need is a chemist, some cheap molecules, and your very precious information.

''At least at this stage, we do not see this method competing with existing methods of data storage,'' Cafferty says. ''We instead see it as complementary to those technologies and, as an initial objective, well suited for long-term archival data storage.

Cafferty's chemical tool might not replace the cloud. But the filing system offers an enticing alternative to biological storage tools like DNA. Recently, scientists discovered how to manipulate our loyal guardian of genetic information to encode more than just eye color.

Researchers can now synthesize DNA strands to record any information, including cat videos, diet trends, and cooking tutorials [whether they should is another question].

But while DNA is small compared to computer chips, the macromolecule is large in the molecular world. And, DNA synthesis requires skilled and often repetitive labor. If each message needs to be designed from scratch, macromoelcule storage could become long and expensive work. 
''We sat out to explore a strategy that does not borrow directly from biology,'' Calferty says. ''We instead relied on techniques common in organic and analytical chemistry, and developed an approach that uses small, low molecular weight molecules to encode information.''

With just one synthesis, the team can produce enough small molecules to encode multiple cat videos at a time, making this approach less labor intensive and cheaper than one based on DNA.

For their low-weight molecules, the team selected oligopeptides [two or more peptides bonded together]. which are common, stable, and smaller than DNA, RNA or protein.

Oligopeptides also vary in mass, depending on their number and type of amino acids. Mixed together, they are distinguishable from one another, like letters in alphabet soup.

Making words from the letters is a bit complicated : In a microwell - like a miniature version of  whack-a-mole but with 384 mole holes - each well contains oligopeptides with varying masses.

Just as ink is absorbed on a page, the oligopeptide mixtures are then assembled on a metal surface, where they are stored. If the team wants to read back what they ''wrote,'' they take a look at one of the wells through a mass spectrometer, which sorts the molecules by mass.

This tells them which oligopeptides are present or absent. Their mass gives them away.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Information Storage for Millions of Years, continues. The World students Society thanks Harvard University.

With respectful dedication to Scientists, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all  prepare for Great Global Elections and ''register'' on : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011.

''' Storage & Summit '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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