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Data Can Now Be Stored Inside Molecules That Power Our Metabolism

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Crystals produced from creatine phosphate, a metabolite similar to those used in a new digital storage device.

Brown University researchers have stored and retrieved information from molecules smaller and less complex than DNA.

Credit: Antonio Romero/SPL

Brown University researchers have stored information within molecules smaller and less complex than DNA.

The team created mixtures, with constituent sugars, amino acids, and other metabolites serving as binary 1s and 0s, to store and retrieve pictures of an Egyptian cat, an ibex, and an anchor.

For the ibex, the team used arrays of six different metabolites dotted onto a standardized plate by liquid-manipulating robots; they generated 1,024 dots in which the six metabolites were either absent or present, providing sufficient binary data to encode the 6,142-pixel image.

The team retrieved the information with about 99% accuracy, using a mass spectrometer to analyze the chemical mix in each dot.

Said Brown's Jacob Rosenstein, "Compared to DNA, our metabolite data has low latency, in that we can write and read datasets quickly from start to finish."

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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