The Electricity Diet: Meet Bacterial "Biowires"

The mysteries of electricity can be fascinating in their omnipresent yet mysterious ways. A recent discovery of electricity-eating bacteria has raised questions about how these organisms may use their need for electricity to power nanobots and other technologies of the future.

As singularityhub.com reports, eight different types of electricity-chomping bacteria have been identified, shedding an entirely new light on the microbial world. UCLA scientists experiment on these creatures by running a current through seafloor sediment and observing the "biowires" that the bacteria form as they feed.

The bacteria can share their charge all along the wires they construct, and only require scant other trace elements (like sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorous) to survive.

Chief scientist Kenneth Nealson explained, “In the same way that photosynthetic bacteria or algae need only sunlight—they use the energy of the photons to reduce carbon dioxide to sugars, and go from there—our bacteria use the energy of electrons from the electrode to power the reduction of CO2 to sugar.”

The bacteria, once harnessed for power, may be able to create and fuel independent nano-machines that will fuel themselves from their environment to accomplish tasks too difficult, dangerous, or small-scale for humans.
The electricity diet is not recommended for humans.  Image courtesy 
www.kurzweilai.net.

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