Money Matters - Simplified

VIRAL ELECTRICITY

You do not know, when the thermal power and hydel power are stopped being used for producing electricity. Instead a virus may take-over the power generation.

A group of scientists at the Berkeley Lab have revived the popular phrase "one small step for man;one giant leap for mankind" by genetically engineered M13 viruses to emit enough electricity to power a small LED screen.

The M13 viruses are harmless to human- beings, it can only infect bacteria, but importantly, it can one day power up your whole city. The secret of M13 lies in something called the "piezoelectric effect," which happens when certain materials like crystals (or viruses) emit a small amount of power when squeezed.

M13 exhibits this effect, and also has the handy ability to organize itself into tidy, invisible sheets of film. Imagine having a layer of this film on your laptop. Every time you would tap the keyboard, these viruses would convert the pressure from your fingers into electricity that constantly powers up your battery. Any kind of motion can power up M13, so you could conceivably power your house by jumping up and down on a virus-coated bed/ floor, or power your iPod by doing your 'thang' while listening to songs when it in your pocket.

M13 being a natural power source, needed just a few modifications to enhance its output by genetical engineering. By adding some negatively-charged amino acids to one end of its tough outer shell, its natural gifts were multiplied. Basically, the GMO version of M13 became a better voltage generator, because it had a negatively charged end and a positively charged end, thus aiding the flow of electricity.

The researchers working on the project are hopeful that this advancement will encourage further research into the field of virus- powered electronics. We also hope for the same, so that we can bang ourselves into doors while entering a dark room and the room brightens up !