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Biotech Data Storage Science Technology

Salmon DNA Used In Data Storage Device 51

Zothecula writes "Scientists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany have created a 'write-once-read-many-times' (WORM) memory device that combines electrodes, silver nanoparticles, and salmon DNA. While the current device is simply a proof-of-concept model, the researchers have stated that DNA could turn out to be a less expensive alternative to traditional inorganic materials such as silicon."
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Salmon DNA Used In Data Storage Device

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  • Um... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:39PM (#38642492)

    Sounds fishy!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As they age, what will they smell like?

      • Just 2 things came to mind:

        If you can't find your disk drive, look upstream.

        My eyes cross at how one is going to "spawn" a "backup."
        I'm sorry, that thought was just wrong, and its my fault.
        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          My eyes cross at how one is going to "spawn" a "backup."

          You don't. Salmon die after spawning. So your spawned backup becomes your new primary storage.

          (Incidentally, lazy bald eagles rely on this phenomenon to feed - they "catch" the salmon after they've spawned and eat the carcass. Saves them having to hunt and grab live ones.)

          • Don't you mean intellectually superior eagles?
          • Re:Um... (Score:4, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:54PM (#38643698)

            (Incidentally, lazy bald eagles rely on this phenomenon to feed - they "catch" the salmon after they've spawned and eat the carcass. Saves them having to hunt and grab live ones.)

            Would that qualify as spawn camping?

    • Sounds fishy!

      Trout slap!

    • Unlimited Upstream bandwith?

    • My Cod! Could you scale it back a bit? I mean look chum, I'm floundering at trying to figure out how to respond to such humor. But the tide may turn on whether others will lob and stir further responses. Now I'm not trying to be crabby here, nor am I trying to make anemone. But I just haddock respond. Ok, I'll clam up now.
  • We all know Tuna is better.
  • by mineral2 ( 2021772 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:43PM (#38642562) Homepage
    Might be cheaper, but I bet its more prone to mutation and degradation. Will this lead to data evolution?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It will be very unstable if there is a cat nearby.

  • by adavies42 ( 746183 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:44PM (#38642592)

    well of course you'd use WORMs with fish....

  • Price of salmon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @05:51PM (#38642676)

    combines electrodes, silver nanoparticles, and salmon DNA. ... DNA could turn out to be a less expensive alternative to traditional inorganic materials such as silicon.

    could turn out = Weasel words. After I arrive at home, it could turn out that space aliens have swapped my wife out for a supermodel as part of an alien sociology research study regarding recreational human reproductive activities, but I'm thinking its unlikely.

    Have you seen the price of salmon? I had a nice grilled slab last night wrapped in some herb leaves and lemon juice. I could buy quite the stack of I2C flash memory chips for that price. I'm not thinking that the salmon-flashdrive equivalent of the HHGTTG babel-fish is necessarily going to be profitable. And carrying around a dead fish with firefox installed on it sounds like some Stross Laundry series plot.

    • Have you counted how many DNAs in one pound of Salmon?

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        I donno man. Smallest feature size I've heard for flash is 19 nm and I'm sure it'll continue to drop. DNA single nucleotide unit length aka pitch is about a third of a nm and has not shrunk at all in a couple billion years for some basic chemistry reasons.

        Lets say you get flash down to 5 nm and shove 20 bits worth of multiple levels (basically analog storage with A/D and D/A interface). This in unrealistic at this time, but then again, DNA storage is unrealistic at this time. That flash data density wou

    • This isn't limited to salmon DNA and they don't have to raise a whole salmon to get the DNA.

    • It's not a weasel word, it's a reflection that the future isn't yet known. If we already knew the answer what would be the point of speculating on it in the first place?

      I realize that there are lots of people out there that have a pathological hatred of qualifiers, but they do serve a purpose and that's to inform the reader that there is uncertainty. And ideally they should give some indication about the reliability of the prediction.

    • Keep in mind, when they say 'salmon DNA', they mean 'DNA from salmon sperm'. Why? Salmon sperm is the cheapest bulk DNA product on the market.
    • A hunk of Salmon ultimately would be unnecessary. Not lot of salmon meat is needed, just an initial sample of salmon DNA and an understanding of PCR (and a lab to utilize it) to produce the DNA en masse; more to the point, not a lot of DNA would be needed I think to store much information on some chip.

  • So that salmon oil I'm taking really WILL help my memory!
  • by ATestR ( 1060586 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:11PM (#38642988) Homepage
    Hey, if they can run a multi-billion dollar satellite with a dirty rag [], why can't they build data storage out of fish bits? I question how well this will work as well.
  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:14PM (#38643042)

    30 minutes is good in the lab, but in reality, we need WORM technologies to be readable for a lot longer than the stated 10^5 seconds. We need readability in decades or centuries for the underlying medium, and that is before we slap the ECC layer on top to deal with bad sectors/blocks and such.

    What might complement this technology would be developing a way to cause the DNA to polymerize (similar to how organic tissue is preserved in "Bodies: The Exhibition"), so once it is written, it stays in that form for a far longer period of time.

  • It's 3 o'clock and so it's time to shop shop shop.

    Say, have you ever sat at your computer and had a thought of eating something while watching the porn? Has FBI ever storm your house to get you and your computer and have you thought to yourself: Dammit, I wish I could just eat that harddrive to prevent the agents from finding my treasured information? Well NOW YOU CAN!

    Our latest line of products includes edible salmon drives, they will not only store your most 'important' data securely, but they taste li

  • Finally, that "Fish Farm" scene is starting to make a bit of sense.
  • by Slicebo ( 221580 ) on Monday January 09, 2012 @06:33PM (#38643368)


  • >Do you have any.... *.exe files?

    >Go Fish.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't we already have caviar hard disks?

  • that if you're tired of your mother wondering if you're gay (or any friend or family member for that matter)....just buy a spindle of S-CDR's and leave them in the sun for a week.

    "My my smells like sex in here"

  • Suddenly an Apple doesn't sound that bad...given the choice.

  • Both WORM and PROM are One-Time Programmables (OTP). In PROMs, you program the device once, and then you can read as many times from the same device. It's been used for decades in embedded products. Right now, they have pretty good densities - up to 1GB, IIRC. Dunno if they've gone higher than that. The number of companies that made mask ROMs have winnowed out, as have the number of OTP manufacturers. But that's the only thing that has slowed down the price erosion of such memories, which probably are
  • We will all remember the day that melted butter and a spot of lemon juice entered the standard computer tech's toolkit.
  • Western Digital has been using this tech for years... []


I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.