Battery built out of virus could power iPods, cars - MIT

http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,25283329-5014239,00.html

SCIENTISTS have engineered a virus that could form a battery three times more powerful than those found in gadgets today.

The bio-battery could conceivably power mp3 players, mobile phones, and possibly even a car.

The genes in the virus, dubbed M13, were modified to collect negatively charged particles and build a powerful, tiny electrode out of metal compounds and carbon nanotubes.

Such an electrode can produce more power faster than lithium batteries, which currently power most gadgets.

"It has some of the same capacity and energy power performance as the best commercially available state-of-the-art batteries," said Angela Belcher, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientist leading the research.

"We could run an iPod on it for about three times as long as current iPod batteries. If we really scale it, it would be used in a car," she added.

However such scaling is not even close, she cautioned.

The original virus was common type which infects bacteria but not humans.

The biological battery would be far more environmentally friendly than current battery technologies, Ms Belcher said.

The MIT team is already working on a second-generation battery - possibly for commercial production - using materials with higher voltage and electrical capacity.

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Modified Viral genes to generate batteries... such technological advancements are shining examples of the technological singularity in play.

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