The prototype 3-volt battery built by a virus (Photo: MIT/Donna Coveney)
Be they biological or computer, viruses generally get a pretty bad rap - what with their reputation for infection, reproduction and disease it’s not surprising that their name is actually Latin for toxin or poison. But it's not all bad press - for example geneticists harness viruses to further the study of cell biology and they also hold much potential in the emerging field of nanotechnology where their size, shape and well-defined chemical structure has led to them being used as templates for organizing materials on the nanoscale. Now MIT researchers have turned viruses to the task of building a battery – and they’ve succeeded.
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