First Motor Powered By Living Bacteria
Mycoplasma mobile, a micrometer-sized bacterium, pushes the rotor in the first motor powered by bacteria.
(Motor powered by living bacteria
1) Overview of silicon track
2) Two cells glide along the wall in the track
3) Bacteria bind to and pull the rotor)
The bacteria-driven motor consists of a square central basin into which the M. mobile are deposited. As they move throughout the square, they eventually reach a side and move along it until approaching an entrance to one of four circular tracks. The entrance ways ensure that a majority of bacteria glide in the same direction around the tracks, which are each fitted with rotors that have protrusions in the track to allow the bacteria to bind to and pull the rotors.
"Mycoplasma is just one example of microorganisms with interesting and potentially useful properties," Hiratsuka told PhysOrg.com. "For instance, there is a gliding bacterium that moves using energy provided by photosynthesis. Chlamyodomonas swim toward light (phototaxis), and Dictyostelium amoeba crawl toward a specific chemical substance (chemotaxis). Though there is no way we can predict what exciting micro devices will result from these organisms, for mycoplasma, we can suggest using it as a micro pump in a microTAS. This would eliminate the need for external pumps and pipes, becoming a ‘true’ on-chip device. We might also construct electric generator systems, which convert abundant chemical energy, glucose in the body, into electric energy. In far future plans, we would like to make micro-robots driven by biological motors, which could move around and do mechanical work in the micrometer world."
(From Bacteria-powered motor)
Once the bacteria reach the circular tracks, the rotors begin to move at speeds of up to 2.6 revolutions per minute.
If you are curious about other unusual achievements by bacteria, consider these articles:
Read more at New motor first to be powered by living bacteria.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/13/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.
Researchers Create Bowls, Coils, Ripples Of Living Tissue
'... biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.
When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'
Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'
'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'
Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'
Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.
Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'
Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'
Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'
CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.
SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories