In the search for eco-friendly energy, a number of scientists have made it possible to extract power from bacteria. Now, a few scientists have scaled new heights. They have come up with a way to harness energy from a bacteria eating virus. At University of California, Berkley, a team has discovered a way to generate electricity from M 13 bacteriophage, a virus.
Piezoelectricity, a property present in the virus is used to translate mechanical energy into electrical energy. Researchers are of the opinion that this discovery will change the future of cell phones. Piezoelectric elements that are already used in mobile phones need to convert energy from sound waves into electrical output.
This is transmitted back and forth into sound waves at the end of the line. Toxic metals such as cadmium and lead form an integral part of piezoelectric components. Also, biomolecules such as nucleic acid and protein have piezoelectric properties. Unlike traditional elements, M13 bacteriophage generates electricity without toxicity.
Bioengineer Seung-Wuk Lee and his research team are of the opinion that pencil-shaped M13 is an excellent energy source because this virus does not cause harm to humans. To improve electricity generating power of M13 virus, Lee and his team changed the amino acid content on the outer protein coat of the virus by adding 4 glutamate molecules, negatively charged.