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posted by martyb on Saturday November 10 2018, @04:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the Invest-now-and-get-in-on-the-'ground'-level! dept.

Researchers create 'bionic mushroom' that produces electricity

Scientists outlined in a study published Wednesday a "bionic mushroom" capable of producing its own electricity. To do this, researchers used cyanobacteria, a bacteria with a blue-green color that creates its energy through photosynthesis, like plants.

Researchers at the Stevens Institute for Technology said the microbes have been known in the bioengineering community to create electricity, but don't last as long because the artificial surfaces used to host the bacteria can't keep it thriving long enough. For their study, Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the institute, and postdoctorate fellow Sudeep Joshi tried a button mushroom.

[...] To create the "bionic mushroom," researchers used a 3D printer to create two types of electronic ink patterns, one containing the bacteria, and a second containing graphene nanoribbons to collect the current. Those patterns were placed on the mushroom's cap. [...] The mushroom was able to create a current of about 65 nanoAmps. Although the mushroom isn't strong enough to power a device, researchers say several of them could build up enough electrical current to light up an LED.

Also at Discover Magazine, BBC, and The Independent.

Bacterial Nanobionics via 3D Printing (DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02642) (DX)

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  • (Score: 2) by RandomFactor on Sunday November 11 2018, @12:05AM (1 child)

    by RandomFactor (3682) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 11 2018, @12:05AM (#760522) Journal

    Red LEDs commonly get down as low as 1mA.

    Each mushroom puts out 65nanoAmps

    By my calc, that's 15 mushrooms to light an LED, unless they have better LEDs, or switch to Portabella.

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  • (Score: 1) by pillo on Monday November 12 2018, @08:43AM

    by pillo (93) on Monday November 12 2018, @08:43AM (#760843)

    Nano- is s 6 orders of magnitude smaller than milli-; that means you would need 15'000 mushrooms to light up a single LED.
    But a dozen may be enough to power tiny commercial CPU ICs, so this technology could have actual uses.