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Disrupt-O-Meter

A look at emerging technology that's Disruptive--and that isn't.

Fifty-terabyte DVDs might sound like a pipe dream, but research at Harvard Medical School may make them a reality. The key to the DVDs is a coating made from genetically altered proteins from salt marsh microbes. The microbes react to light by temporarily converting it into a series of molecules with a unique shape. Researchers hope that altering the proteins to make molecules that hold their shape will yield a binary system for storing data.
disruptive dial: high


Nanoelectronics will get a boost if the University of Texas follows through on plans to create a $30 million academy across three UT campuses to research the technology. University regents gave the school's chancellor the green light to seek out funds for the initiative. The academy's chief goal: to design a new type of electronic switch to replace the transistors used in laptops and cell phones.
disruptive dial: low

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