Plant mulberry silkworms and draw silk. In the future, the hard disk used by our computers may not be a semiconductor, nor a group of E. coli, but from a cocoon. Chinese scientists have developed the world’s first natural bioprotein hard disk memory, a silk hard drive made of silk: in addition to information, it can hold things such as blood samples, DNA, vaccines and even implantable organisms.
On August 10, One of the main authors of the study, Tao Hu, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems and Information Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a doctoral tutor and director of the 2020 Frontier Laboratory of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystems, told The News that silk hard drives can store digital and life information at the same time; It is made into a time capsule with a controlled life, degraded under control and disappeared under control. It is expected to preserve information under extreme conditions such as outer space.
Tao Hu said that for silk hard disk, Hollywood spy blockbuster with microwave oven ring hard drive plot may be rewritten, because the hard drive is not afraid of strong magnetic field and strong radiation. After 30 minutes of high fire in the microwave oven, the information in the silk hard drive is still “safe and sound”. At present, the storage capacity of silk hard drives can reach 64GB per square inch, equivalent to 0.5TB.
The Taohu Task Force, in conjunction with the relevant research groups at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Texas at Austin, has for the first time realized a high-capacity bio-storage technology based on silk protein.
On August 11th the paper was published online in the internationally renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology. The research team has used this technique to verify the principle of accurate recording, storage, and “reading” of images and audio files such as “home-eating leaf map” and “empty-grain song”.
Tao Hu introduced that silk protein is made into a hard disk, people want to store information, can be written through the near-field infrared nanolithography system, and read with the same system. By changing the energy written to the light, you can adjust the shape of the processing chart on the silk protein, such as bulges or concave, thus enabling repeated write-down in situ. This approach is similar to CD or DVD disc storage technology.
Professor Liu Mengkun, co-author of the paper, said near-field optics based on atomic force microscopy offered the possibility of processing and characterization of biological materials in situ at nanoscales. Through the nanoneedle tip, the infrared light is focused on a very small scale, and the silk protein is modified to achieve the purpose of information storage and reading. Later, it is possible to further combine multi-probe parallel machining technology with fast mobile platforms, with the potential to achieve comparable storage density and reading and writing speed of comparable commercial hard disk memory in the future.
Tao Hu said that silk protein memory as a high-capacity, high-reliability new storage technology, not only like ordinary semiconductor hard disk to store digital information, but also for the active biological information storage to provide a powerful platform for the collection and storage of biological information, while storing human DNA and blood samples. And this memory can also be controlled destruction in a preset timing, which can be used for information confidentiality. In addition, because silk protein memory is easily mixed with various functional molecules for functionalization, it can increase the dimension of information storage. In the future, this technology is expected to become the next generation of high-capacity, high-reliable information storage technology through continuous optimization and improvement of silk protein memory storage capacity and reading and writing rate.
Spring silkwormtou to the dead silk square, wax torch into gray tears began to dry.
8500 years ago, the world’s first silk products appeared in China. It may be hard for the ancients to imagine that silk can not only be woven into silk satin, do cheongsam, but also make hard disk.
Silk hard drive is a new achievement of Taohu research team. In 2018, they also published a paper in the international academic journal Advanced Materials, which makes silk a biodegradable , controlled “bone nail”. From the sale price of more than a thousand yuan, use 5 kg of silk to make a bed of silk quilt, to 0.5 grams of silk cocoon can do a set of value of about 10,000 yuan silk protein bone nails, the ancient silk cocoon industry is expected to be among the high-tech high-value-added biopharmaceutical industry.
Tao Hu also revealed that according to the genealogy, he is Tao Yuanming’s descendants. In addition to the “Peach Flower Source”, “Return” and other literary works, silk hard disk is the East Jin poet Tao Yuanming family’s new contribution.
Original title: Shanghai scientists have developed the world’s first “silk hard drive”: can be implanted into the human body, controlled destruction.