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SCIENTISTS TURN SNAIL INTO LIVING BATTERY - LIVING SENSORS FOR THE MILITARY (STA BREAKING NEWS and ARCHIVES)

by Theresa @, Friday, March 16, 2012, 10:02

Shades of the Matrix!!!

+++++

A snail transformed into a living battery has moved the world one step closer to having tiny cyborg spies underfoot.

The pioneering experiment harnessed a snail's blood sugar to "recharge" an implanted battery — the first time researchers have shown sustainable generation of electricity in a living creature's body over several months. If the snails' bodies can create enough electricity to power microelectronics, they could act as living sensors or detectors for the U.S. military and Homeland Security.

"In this (direction) the biofuel cells are expected to operate in small creatures (snails, worms, insects, etc.) providing sustainable electrical power for various sensors and wireless transmitters," said Evgeny Katz, a professor of chemistry at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Katz and his colleagues implanted the snail with electrodes made of thin sheets of carbon nanotubes — called Buckypaper — that could conduct electricity. Those electrodes, coupled with certain enzymes, created electricity by using glucose sugar and oxygen circulating in the snail's "hemolymph" blood.

Such a setup allowed the snails to roam freely and live life as normally as possible — resting and eating allowed the creatures to build up glucose levels to "recharge" the battery. A new study describing the results is detailed in the March 8 online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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