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Bacteria taught to spin microscopic gears right round, could make for better solar panels

Tim Stevens
12.21.09
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With a name like Bacillus subtilis and a size of five microns you probably wouldn't expect much in the way of heavy lifting, but don't let first impressions fool you. This tiny organism has been taught by scientists at Argonne National Laboratory to spin little gears that weigh one million times more than the bacteria themselves -- that'd be like you lifting both an original Xbox and a PS3 at the same time! Applications are, apparently, endless, but the one that caught our eye involves photovoltaics able to "snag lots of photons from the sun." You know what that means: more juice for your Prius so you can crank that Dead or Alive CD guilt-free.

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