how electrifying! bacteria found feeding on magnets create natural rechargeable batteries
Scientists at the University of tibingen in Germany have found that colonies of two bacteria can grow on a mineral called a magnet.
They found that one bacteria could dump electrons on crystals, while the other bacteria took electrons from crystals based on the amount of sunlight they received.
In the wild, scientists say, this could make magnet crystals work like bacteria\'s natural rechargeable batteries.
These findings have led people to hope that these \"batteries\" can be used to help develop new energy sources, although they are currently charging for a very short period of time.
Dr. James Byrne, who led the work at the University of tibingen, said bacteria can increase this activity through genetic engineering.
In our study, we only studied iron-metabolic bacteria, but we speculate that other non-
Iron metabolism organisms can also use magnets as batteries
He said, or if they can use it through genetic engineering.
\"Can engineering bacteria increase energy production? Or is it limited by the magnet itself?
The magnet itself can only hold the maximum number of electrons, which is one of the limiting factors.
However, bacteria come into contact with these electrons by a special enzyme known as the suliron pigment.
\"In principle, if bacteria can be modified with more of these electronic carriers, then it can increase the speed at which they use magnets as batteries.
However, this may not be something that can be used for applications in the near future.
The results of the researchers, published in the journal Science, have cultivated a purple bacteria known as P. Hong, found in the soil, another called
These are growing on nanometers.
Size Crystal of magnet
A iron oxide-based mineral found in rock formations used to make veins.
The team then changed the level of light to simulate the effects at night and during the day.
They found that in the \"day time\" time, P. Hong harvested electrons from the magnet, reducing its charge.
In the evening, Geobacter took over the magnet crystal and dumped the electrons back onto the magnet crystal to charge it.
Geobacter, while metabolizing other organic substances, adds electrons to iron in the crystal.
Dr Byrne says the results suggest that bacteria can survive in extreme environments deep underground.
He said: \"It is interesting in the Earth chemistry itself, but it is also possible to get useful inspiration from this work.
The flow of electrons is critical to the existence of all life, and the fact that magnets are considered redox activity opens up the possibility that bacteria can survive or survive in other environments compared to magnets, the supply of redox active compounds is insufficient.
The researchers also believe the findings could also be used to help remove toxic metal contamination and turn metals into safer forms using magnets wrapped in bacteria.
There are many kinds of bacteria found to eat electrons by collecting electrons from metal particles, and some bacteria spit out electrons.
These are usually found in seabirds and river beds, and they use energy in the purest form to drive reactions within the cells.
Most living species release the energy needed for food through a series of complex biochemical reactions.
For example, most spine cells break down glucose sugar and release energy packs in molecular form known as ATP.
However, these bacteria appear to take energy directly from the electrons released as they grow on the surface of iron minerals.
Another author of the study, Professor Andrés Kapoor, secretary of the European Society of Geochemistry, said: \"There may be some interesting applications of Geochemistry.
A lot of work has recently been done on cleaning toxic metals with magnets.
For example, magnets can reduce the toxic form of chromium, chromium VI to chromium with less toxicity (III)
And can then be incorporated into the magnet crystal.
The fact that this magnet may then be exposed to these reduced bacteria may enhance its ability to repair.
But our understanding of the significance of this discovery in bioengineering is still in its early stages.