tech science energy microbiology bacteria renewable_energy robots electricity power
Spore Power: Wetting Bacteria Makes Electricity And Robot Muscles


by Petti Fong

If dry bacteria spores of the genus Bacillus were boxers, commentators would say they punch above their weight.

When they dehydrate, the rod-shaped spores— dormant cells that help the microorganism survive tough environmental conditions and are naturally found in soil and vegetation—shrivel or curl like a leaf. Add some moisture and they straighten out again. Studies have shown that they can absorb water and expand with remarkable force. Now scientists say this phenomenon can be harnessed to use the microbes as a potential source of renewable energy or as muscles to make superstrong robots.

In research recently reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team detailed how they smeared spores on a flat piece of rubber and created a bacteria-powered generator.

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science tech 3_d_printing soil ct_scan x_ray microbiology ecology fungi bacteria computer_modeling

CT Scans And 3-D Printer Show World Beneath Our Feet

Researchers at Scotland’s Abertay University are getting a brand new look at the seemingly nondescript world hidden in plain sight—the soil beneath our feet. 

Using computed tomography, an imaging technique that takes virtual slices of a subject using X-rays, computer modelling and a 3-D scanner, the team is revealing the previously hidden complex structures of soil.

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science tech microscope biology engineering 3_d cell bacteria health imaging
New Technique Shows Living Cells In 3-D

by Txchnologist staff

A new method of creating 3-D images of living cells without disturbing them promises to open an unprecedented view into how they operate.

University of Illinois engineers say the technique, called white-light diffraction tomography, will let researchers watch cellular processes as they unfold, the effects of drugs and how stem cells change into specialized cells.

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science health antibiotics eyes medicine protein bacteria
Killer Eyes: Naturally Antibiotic Protein Stops Infections

by Marsha Lewis, Inside Science TV

They are known as the window to the soul, each a different color, size and shape. But could your eyes also fight infections?

For years optometrists have been trying to figure out why the human eye is resistant to infection.

“What we know is people virtually never get corneal infections unless they’re a contact lens wearer or unless they have very severe injury to the cornea,” said Suzanne Fleiszig, an optometrist at the University of California, Berkeley.

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