Monday, October 11, 2010

Bacteria Go Electric - Science News

Bacteria Go Electric - Science News: "Biologists first noticed that deep-sea bacteria grew the curious wires when placed in environments with little oxygen. Rather than suffocate, the microbes grew nanowires made of protein to hunt for pockets of oxygen or other places to dump electrons, says biologist Yuri Gorby at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego. Then the bacteria appeared to share the gas — their way of breathing — by connecting their wires, as if a crowded room of people could breathe from an open window simply by linking hands.

The scientists had suspected that nanowires can carry electrons, but struggled to create instruments nimble enough to measure the current without destroying the fragile conduits."

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