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Next up: a phone powered by microbial wires?

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Science  21 Aug 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6506, pp. 904
DOI: 10.1126/science.369.6506.904

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Summary

The discoverers of electric microbes have been quick to think about how these bacteria can be put to work. One potential use is to detect and control pollutants. Cable microbes seem to thrive in the presence of organic compounds, such as petroleum, so their presence may reveal undetected pollution. They might also aid cleanup, not just of organic compounds, but also nuclear waste. Electric bacteria are also giving rise to new technologies. Some have been genetically modified with the goal of making sensitive, wearable sensors. And fashioned into a film, nanowires also generate electricity from the moisture in the air. Now that researchers have coaxed a common lab and industrial bacterium, it should be easier for researchers to mass produce the structures and explore these and other practical applications.

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