Scientists in the US have developed a way to generate electricity using viruses.

For the demonstration, they took a multilayered film of viruses measuring 1 sq cm and sandwiched it between two gold-plated electrodes. These were connected by wires to a liquid-crystal display.

When pressure was applied to the generator, it was able to produce up to a quarter of the voltage of a common battery. This was enough current to flash the number “1” on the display.

This isn’t much, but Dr Lee said he was hopeful of improving on the “proof-of-principle” device.

The researchers claim their advance could help lead to tiny devices that harvest electrical energy from the vibrations of everyday tasks such as shutting a door or climbing stairs.

Ok, firstly, wow.  Using viruses to generate electricity?  That’s pretty cool.

Secondly, could this be how the nano-tech of the future is powered?

The viruses they’re using are bacteriophages, meaning that they attack bacteria but are harmless to humans.  I can see problems if they start to mutate.  People would find themselves attacked by their own nano-tech.  If we added this to doors and stairs as the article suggests, people could be infected by their own houses.  How would we cope?  Especially since it would be necessary to give them resistence to cleaning fluids; otherwise people would kill them off every time they cleaned the house.

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