Researchers Advance Development of Organic Batteries
Researchers have found that they can create an electrical current when proteins on the surface of bacteria (like shewanella oneidensis, shown here) touch a mineral surface. The research shows that it is possible to develop microbial fuel cells. (Source: University of East Anglia/Alice Dohnalkova)
This one is a new one on me, Elizabeth. Like the Matrix, only the slaves are bacteria. I wonder if this will start a "free bacteria" movement. Others may argue that creating electricity may give meaning to the life of individual bacterium.
Ha, Rob, yes, it's quite an interesting development, isn't it? Not something I would have come up with, but that's why I'm a writer and not a scientist. It is quite interesting and I wonder if it could have any implications in the future for the treatment of bacteria-related illnesses or other applications.
I agree, Elizabeth, it will be interesting to see if there are further developments with the use of bacteria. A lot of new technology seems to be coming out of the natural world or being inspired by the natural world. Growing algae as an energy source, modeling robot movements on insect movement -- these are just a couple recent examples. There's a zillion.
It seems that would be the case, tekochip. It says that "electricity could be generated by the breakdown of domestic or agriculural waste products." Sounds like a variation on Mr. Fusion from Back to the Future.
@Elizabeth, thanks for the post. Its fascinating to know that electrical current can be generated by touching proteins on the surface of bacteria to a mineral surface. What kind of metal or mineral was used for this experiment ?
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.