Shewanella oneidensis Bacteria could power bio batteries

Researchers in the US and UK have made a breakthrough that could lead to bacteria becoming microscopic bio-batteries, offering humanity a new potential energy source.

Researchers in the US and UK have made a breakthrough that could lead to bacteria becoming microscopic bio-batteries, offering humanity a new potential energy source.

 
Scientists at the University of East Anglia, UK, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington, teamed together to find out whether or not bacteria directly conducted electrical charges.
 
Until now researchers knew that bacteria were influencing levels of minerals in lakes and seas, but how they were doing it remained a mystery.
 
Shewanella oneidensis Bacteria could power bio batteries
 
The team conducted their tests using the Shewanella oneidensis bacterium, which is found throughout the world. A synthetic version of the bacterium was created, resulting in the discovery that the organism itself generated a charge, which could create a chemical change when put in contact with a mineral surface.
 
The findings may not sound like much on paper, but it means that bacteria conduct electrical charges on their own, and thus they could eventually become useful for providing power. At the very least, understanding how they work can give greater insight into the biological links with electricity.
 
The paper was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: Gross L, PLoS Biology Vol. 4/8/2006, e282