Wednesday, 23 August 2017

solar cell

Via Gizmodo, we learn of a potentially truly crowning achievement in the discipline of synthetic biology in the form of an experimental culturing of a strain of bacteria that are more efficient than plants at harvesting the energy of the sun and sequestering carbon-dioxide. They’re considered cyborgs as the molecule the bacteria uses as a photo-receptor is radically different from chlorophyll, and the addition of a few chemicals give the bacteria little crystalline solar panel shields—a natural but overlooked defensive-mechanism to heavy metals in their environment. The by-product of the bacterial respiration is acetic acid, which can be used as a food source for other bacteria or to create bio-fuels and bio-plastics. This process does not need to take place in the laboratory but merely in a vat in the sun and is scalable without the need for manufactured electronic components.