No, we haven’t figured out how to use babies as batteries (although research is ongoing). Instead, we’re figuring out how to make microbial fuel cells, and there was just a major breakthrough in the field.
Microbial fuel cells basically use bacteria to turn chemical energy into electricity, but one of the big problems was figuring out exactly how the bacteria did this in the first place. We had a rough idea, namely that they used proteins, but no idea what those proteins looked like.
The University of East Anglia, though, has finally figured it out, offering up the exact molecular structure of said protein. This means now we know exactly how it works and what protein the bacteria needs to crank out to get this research out of my dreams and into my car…er, that is, out of the lab and into the marketplace.
Yes, soon, your gizmos could be powered not by lithium but by microbes. Isn’t technology wonderf-wait, are these things infectious?
[ via the chemically complex proteins at Gizmag ]