Bugging out.

Out of batter power you say? Well, let me just fetch some of these viruses for you and you'll be off in a jiffy. How long do we have to wait till this is part of our vernacular jargon?

At MIT, a team led by Angela Belcher has genetically engineered viruses to excrete certain proteins that react with chemicals introduced to the environment to create complicated structures much like life forms. The viruses are genetically programmed to first grow the iron phosphate battery electrode material, then pick up an individual or bundle of carbon nanotubes that then wire the electrode for fast energy transfer. The battery created is only big enough to power a calculator but the same technique could be used to make batteries for cars, or maybe even ones home or at least plug in appliances.

The recipe for this energy is simple:: all you need is the virus (easily multiplied exponentially in a lab) and the raw materials. Now, it's not available at your local Ikea just yet. The batteries being produced are not at the standard of traditionally designed nanotech batteries due to their shorter cycle before they start to loose charge. I say give the team at MIT a few months and it should be up and running.

Unfortunately, the batteries being produced are not up to the standards of traditionally designed nanotech batteries. They can only go through about 100 cycles (vs. more than 1000 for today's batteries) before starting to lose their charge. Of course, the team is confident that they can direct the viruses more effectively and increase that number significantly.

Genomatica, as other various green companies, is a company that has devised organisms that can produce chemicals like methyl ethyl ketone which can be used as a way to replace energy-intensive processes like cooking chemicals at high temperatures to produce other compounds or noxious, fossil fuel based substances. Genomatica also makes bugs that produce plastic.

Now I am still waiting for them to teach cancer to be a building material. Maybe a field trip is in order.

Source1:ecogeek. Source2:greentechmedia. Source3:inhabitat.

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