Friday, 1 July 2011


British scientists say they've found how cells transfer electrical charge, bringing bacterial fuel cells or "bio-batteries" a step closer.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia have demonstrated for the first time the exact molecular structure of the proteins that enable bacterial cells to transfer electrical charge, a university release said Monday.

The discovery could lead to techniques to "tether" bacteria directly to electrodes, creating efficient microbial fuel cells or "bio-batteries."

"This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell," UEA researcher Tom Clarke said. "Identifying the precise molecular structure of the key proteins involved in this process is a crucial step towards tapping into microbes as a viable future source of electricity."

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