Bionic snail?

Interesting summary: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/05/scienceshot-the-bionic-snail.html?rss=1

Full article: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ja211714w?journalCode=jacsat

The basic idea of the snippet is that they turned a snail into a generator of electricity. It’s only a few microwatts at 0.53 volts, but that isn’t insignificant. At first I thought “what the heck is the point of this nonsense?” but the implications as pointed out by the article are striking: powering medical implants, environmental sensors, spy equipment, etc. As a geophysicist, I am excited by the prospect of having thousands of roving, self-sufficient sensors. With improved technology, if we can power the sensor, a small wi-fi or bluetooth, and a small positioning unit (gps or other), we could collect amazing amounts of data.

Of course it would just be easier to make non-biological roving sensors, but where’s the fun in that?

By the way, the snail was unharmed. I wonder if this is the first step toward “The Matrix”?

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About faradaysheadache

Research Geophysicist with the US Geological Survey.
This entry was posted in Biology, energy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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