Scientists have determined the molecular structure of proteins that allow bacteria cells to transfer electrical charge, which could be a big step towards more efficient microbial fuel cells (Image: Public Library of Science)
A diagram of the electron-transferring protein (Image: University of East Anglia)
The development of practical microbial fuel cells took a big step forward this week. Research conducted by a team of scientists from England’s University of East Anglia was published on Monday (May 23), in which they revealed that they had discovered “the exact molecular structure of the proteins which enable bacterial cells to transfer electrical charge.” Scientists possessing this knowledge can now start working on technology for tethering bacteria directly to electrodes, which could lead to much more efficient microbial fuel cells – also known as bio-batteries.
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