Electrifying news!

According to the August issue of Nature Communications, research at Michigan State University (MSU) has revealed how Geobacter bacteria grow as films on electrodes and generate electricity that can be scaled to industrial levels. The biofilm is a combination of cells with cytochromes, metal-based proteins and pili protein filaments, discovered and patented by MSU’s Gemma Reguera, Associate Professor of Microbiology. The article elaborated that each cell is a power plant, generating electrical discharges that are delivered to the underlying electrode using a network of cytochromes and pili – a hair-like appendage found on the surface of many bacteria. The cytochromes reportedly act as transformers and towers supplying electricity to the city, and the pili are akin to powerlines that connect the towers to the grid.