April 6, 2019

Discovery Of Biological Structure In Geobacter Will Change Tech

On April 4th, 2018, the University of Virginia Health System announced they had discovered a new biological structure in a particular type of bacteria, called Geobacter.

Geobacter have been interesting to scientists due to their known ability to conduct electricity and consume harmful substances like uranium while giving carbon dioxide as waste. Geobacter were previously thought to have conductive abilities through hair like structures known as pili, however, further study of the bacteria have lead to a conclusion that these bacteria have a network of ‘microbial nano wires’.

This discovery has lead to the explanation for electron conduction in protein wires on a molecular level.

https://sciencedaily.com and https://cell.com have posted on this story.

This discovery in the world of biology with the study of bacteria will lead to major advancements in numerous fields of technology. Certain limitations of technology that were forced due to wire size, no longer apply. As mentioned by sciencedaily, this could lead to smaller batteries with more energy, pacemakers without wires. That’s just in terms of electronics. The discovery in geobacter could lead to advancements with the environment as well. Such as cleaning up oil spells or radioactive waste. As for exactly what all this discovery will lead to, we will simply have to wait and see.

For evidence of this article and more of the technical information not included in this summary, please see the citations.

 

Citations:

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30291-0

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190404143747.htm

Study done by:

  • Afkar E.
  • Reguera G.
  • Schiffer M.
  • Lovley D.R.
Official Paper:
A novel Geobacteraceae-specific outer membrane protein J (OmpJ) is essential for electron transport to Fe(III) and Mn(IV) oxides in Geobacter sulfurreducens.

BMC Microbiol. 2005; 5: 41

 

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