Virus Batteries

This is too cool, researchers at MIT are working on batteries that are powered, in part, by the mechanics of viruses…

Instead of physically arranging the component parts, researchers genetically engineer viruses to attract individual molecules of materials they’re interested in, like cobalt oxide, from a solution, autonomously forming wires 17,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper that pack themselves together to form electrodes smaller than a human cell.

“Once you do the genetic engineering with the viruses themselves, you pour in the solution and they grow the right combination of these materials on them.”

I have heard of growing algae to help create bio-fuels… but this is just… er… different than that! Using biology’s efficiencies to serve our energy needs will definitely become more and more important, but viruses in batteries to help create electricity directly? Wow…


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