Future Lettuce-Based Electric Wires?

As of February 18th, 2014, lettuce-based electric wires were discovered! The next generation of electricity could be made from lettuce.

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According to livescience.com, “Computer scientist Andrew Adamatzky of the University of West England did a series of tests with four-day-old lettuce seedlings. To create bio-wires, he bridged two electrodes made from conductive aluminum foil with a seedling that was placed onto the electrodes in drops of distilled water. Next, he applied electrical potential between electrodes ranging from 2 to 12 volts, and calculated the seedling’s so-called potential transfer function that shows output potential as a fraction of input potential — the amount of energy produced relative to energy put in. “

Though it is not the first time in history that researchers have turned to biology to create electrical components, (marine bacteria made batteries, sugar-powered biobattery), a researcher named Erokhin, believes this research could eventually lead to the development of  bio-robots. Everything machine-orientated will be bio-oriented. Scientists will take the cells of plants for a biological blueprint to lead to ‘green machines’. Now, they just need to understand the behavior, and lifestyle of plants and slime mold so we can work with it more in the future.

In my opinion, this is definitely a healthier alternative towards the environment, but wouldn’t the lettuce eventually go bad, die, crackle, and wither to nothing? Would this honestly be able to keep up?

 

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2 comments on “Future Lettuce-Based Electric Wires?

  1. I’d love to know exactly how the electricity is generated/conducted through aluminum, and just how much power these would get. I think we’ll see more and more of these “green machines” since our carbon footprint is getting out of hand. I found your post really interesting, and I like how you explained the major components of the procedure.

  2. This is really interesting. Just extending your last point about the feasibility of using lettuce, what if this opens doors to genetic re-engineering. Instead of using the traditional store bought lettuce (or seedlings) what if researchers began to grow these seedlings for the sole use of electrical wiring and used genetic manipulation to achieve maximal output and longevity? I obviously don’t have answers, but am very interested in seeing where this can/will go.

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