Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Gut bacteria found that produces electricity

Bacteria that produces electricity has already been discovered before in extreme environments such as deep below ground in mines and at the bottom of lakes. Recently however, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley discovered that various different bacteria that are part of the human gut microbiome also produce electricity. Unlike the bacteria found in the bottom of mineshafts and lakes however, the bacteria found in the stomach produces electricity using a different technique which uses metals such as iron or magnesium to transfer the electrons produced during metabolism. This process requires a complex reaction that uses the extracellular electron transfer chain which carries the electrons as currents through the cell wall. This discovery is extremely important because of how useful it could be in generating electricity using sustainable energy. Scientists are using this discovery to research ways to use waste treatment plants to generate energy which could eliminate power plants and other energy harvesting techniques that are harmful to the environment.

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