Scientists have forced the fungi to produce electricity

Densely packed cyanobacteria

Densely packed cyanobacteria

Scientists, including those of Indian origin, have created a bionic device that generates green power by 3D-printing clusters of cyanobacteria on an ordinary white button mushroom.

'In this case, our system-this bionic mushroom-produces electricity, ' said Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, US. "As we discussed them", said Sudeep Joshi, the author of the new study, "we realised they have a rich microbiota of their own, so we thought why not use the mushrooms as a support for the cyanobacteria". So the scientists from the Stevens Institute of Technology in the United States developed a clever method of marrying the mushroom to the sparky bugs.Appropriately enough, they came up with the idea while having lunch!"One day my friends and I went to lunch together and we ordered some mushrooms", said Sudeep Joshi, a postdoctoral researcher and author of the study."As we discussed them we realised they have a rich microbiota of their own, so we thought why not use the mushrooms as a support for the cynaobacteria".

Mushrooms as a source of power?

Cyanobacteria are common on land and in the oceans, and scientists are intrigued by their ability to turn light into energy via photosynthesis. They say their research shows the possibilities of "engineered symbiosis" between organisms and nonliving materials, which they characterize as different worlds.

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The team says they are working on ways to generate higher currents across complex arrangements of bacterial species and perhaps expanding to use other varieties of "useful" bacteria that exhibit unique properties such as bioluminescence and virulence.

When light was shone on a "bionic mushroom", the bacteria began photosynthesis which generated a current of electricity (65 nano Amps) which was collected by the graphene ribbon. And this will solve the problem, which is not allowed to use them to generate electricity, reports Around the world. Imagine needles sticking into a single cell to access electrical signals inside it, explains Mannoor. In order to capture the energy superconductive graphene nanoribbons were also printed in a particular pattern that crossed path with bacteria, capturing the electrons that were released on the surface of the bacteria layers.

Additionally, both researchers discovered that the amount of electricity produced can vary depending on how cyanobacteria are packed together.

The work could one day help grow a non-traditional way to combat global climate change. "By seamlessly integrating these microbes with nanomaterials, we could potentially realize many other awesome designer bio-hybrids for the environment, defense, healthcare and many other fields".

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