MIT scientists discover electricity generating bacteria
Scientists at MIT have made a ground-breaking discovery last week. Bacteria capable of producing their own electricity are now found. You may wonder why a tiny bacterium might need this electical power for itself.
Certain bacteria live in conditions that are deficient in breathable air. These unfortunate bacteria have to adapt and find another way to respire. This unique form of breathing involves generation of electricity.
Scientists and engineers are exploring ways to harness these micro power plants to operate fuel cells and purify sewage water among other uses.
It was difficult to identify bacteria that generate electrons within their cells. These electrons travel from one cell to another through a small channel. This process is named extracellular electron transfer. This is how they breathe.
Cullen Buie, associate professor of mechanical engineering at MIT adds, “It is not just a small handful of microbes that can do this.” Thus a need for an efficient tool to study these microbes is more urgent now than ever.
These potent little power producers have been searched for for a decade and their discovery is a big step forwards. They may one day power everything from large batteries to bio-homes.
Do you think discovering a electricity generating bacteria is a break thought?
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