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Mitochondria!

Not sure if this counts as a new use for mitochondria, or just a very, very, old use modified a trifle. :) But you have to admit, it's interesting.

Bio battery based on cellular power plant
27 August 2010

Leigh Krietsch Boerner/Boston, US


Mitochondria, often called the powerhouse of the cell, have been harnessed in a new battery-like device that could one day power small portable devices like mobile phones or laptops.

Mitochondria convert fatty acids and pyruvate, formed from the digestion of sugars and fats, to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cell's energy supply. Along the way a tiny electrical current is generated, and Shelley Minteer and coworkers from Saint Louis University in Missouri, US, have now harnessed those flowing electrons to put them to work in a new biological battery device.

Speaking at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, US, Minteer described how her team has built a biological battery that incorporates whole mitochondria capable of producing a current anywhere from microamps to milliamps per square centimetre, depending on the surface area of the mitochondria and the load density.

more


See also Juicing up laptops and cell phones with soda pop or vegetable oil?

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
trenchkamen
Sep. 8th, 2010 10:10 pm (UTC)
I'm glad they finally got it to work. Mitochondrial energy sources have been a hot button topic for a while.
kayshapero
Sep. 9th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
This is actually the first time I've seen it, which just shows how easy it is to miss Interesting Stuff. niall_shapero saw it and sent me a link to the "Juicing up laptops" article.
ghostwolf
Sep. 9th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
Well, I guess that means I don't get just my own fix when I buy a case of Mountain Dew...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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