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MIT Made a Virus Make a Battery

Those crazy lab rats at MIT are attempting to radically diminish the cost of producing sophisticated nanotech cathodes and canadian viagra supplier anodes by enlisting viruses to do the hard work for them.

New lithium ion batteries are being designed with increasingly sophisticated cathodes and anodes that allow fast charge, controlled discharge, longer lifetimes and higher power densities. The problem is, as these components become more advanced, so too do the batteries. Which is why practical electric vehicles (now that they're feasible at all) seem to only here ordering viagra be generally out of my price range.

The team at MIT genetically engineered viruses to excrete certain proteins. Those proteins then react with chemicals introduced to the where buy viagra environment to create complicated structures. Proteins are very good at directing compounds to create complicated life forms.

The viruses, in effect, pull the needed compounds (gold and cobalt for the anode and iron phosphate and carbon for the cathode) into nanowires. Both the cathode and the anode for the battery were constructed by viruses, though the battery created is only big enough to power a calculator, the same technique could be used to make batteries for cars.

The best thing is, all you need is the viruses (which are easy enough to multiply exponentially in a lab) and the raw materials to create these sophisticated components. So the cost of advanced battery production could drop like a rock.

Unfortunately, the batteries being produced are not up to cheapest prices on propecia 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 ordering viagra viruses more effectively and increase that number significantly.

This technique could also mean a more cost-effective way to build and cialis sale test new battery chemistries. The team is already experimenting with slightly different cathodes and anodes to attempt to increase power density.

And so maybe soon viruses will be doing all our work for us.

Via GreenTechMedia

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Comments (13)Add Comment
written by shek, April 02, 2009
Get to work you lazy viruses!!! :P
written by Mr. Sinister, April 03, 2009
Forget about global warming or nuclear war ... the end of mankind on this planet will begin with a harmless, genetically engineered micro-organism that somehow escaped from the lab.
So stupid it is mind boggling
written by Paul, April 03, 2009
I haven't heard of anything as stupid as this ever. What will happen if these things escape from the battery in your car/digital camera or whatever.
Just a few reality pinches ;)
written by Ivan, April 03, 2009
1) A virus is an organism or process depending on how you see it, what they have modified are VIRIONS, the particles of a virus... in this case the M13 F-Phage

2) M13 only attack E.coli, and even if they were to buy viagra canada "escape" ones which make a battery are certain to be less competitive in the environment than the natural forms, otherwise there would be battery-making virions already... It's not like high-bred maize invades grasslands right?

3) they don't excrete proteins (very few viruses do), they simply have them attached onto the surface of overnight tramadol online the virion

4) sort of a p.s. to "2)": if this were such a concern, and even if they remained infectious (for E.coli, and only E.coli) once inside the good choice fast cialis harsh environment of the battery, it is just a technical problem to eliminate their infectiousness...
re to Paul
written by Ivan, April 03, 2009
you see Paul, if YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING does not make THE MATTER stupid, it makes YOU stupid ;)
We Are The Dominant Species
written by dave, April 03, 2009
Paul, consider for a moment that there are billions of people and numerous viruses on the planet, yet a very small fraction of the human population are in place to protect us from dangerous viruses - and doing a terrific job to say the least.
written by SteveN, April 03, 2009
My brother is working on this stuff at MIT. He has explained stuff in so much more depth, at a certain point my eyes begin to glaze over. Obama recently mentioned it in a conference about energy efficiency! Go science!
written by Peters, April 03, 2009
They've been doing this at UC Santa Barbara for the better part of two years now. Where's the love for the originals?
written by nic, April 09, 2009
Stuff like this scares the crap outta me. Did anyone ever read Prey? C'mon.
written by Dafyd L.Powell-Palaitis, April 09, 2009
I think it´s a great idea.
To use Mother Natures biological wonders to advance her unwritten plan for the future of Gaia is only today viagra discussionsdiscount priced viagra exactly what the doctor ordered.
I really wish some people would brush up on thier knowledge of levitra discount drugs the natural world, before jumping to the conclusion that one particular Virus is out to kill YOU;
besides there are already zillions more of them here on earth than you, chill man.
written by Glenn, April 13, 2009
Yay MIT! This is as good as it gets! I took a summer course at MIT a couple summers ago and got tour of some of the labs. What scares the crap out of me is the stuff they are working on that they DON'T tell you about!
written by elizabeth, April 15, 2009
i understand paul's concern. tell a person with HIV that viruses arent dangerous.
1. what do the battery viruses need to survive?
2. will they create strange biofilms with specific elements in any environment (like gold or cobalt, and can they adapt uniquely to do so with other elements?)
3. does e-coli exist naturally in our bodies? could it upset that balance?
4. could the wire formation give them an survival advantage over other viruses in the environment?

all questions that should have been addressed before research began.
the monarch butterflies will testify to that.
written by Fred, July 16, 2009
That sounds weird hopefully its a virus that wont cause harm to humans in the long run

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