Register to reply

Extracellular electron transfer (EET)

by Dotini
Tags: electron, extracellular, transfer
Share this thread:
Dotini
#1
Mar12-14, 07:29 AM
PF Gold
P: 508
I ran across this interesting article which seems to suggest that a single cell organism on a surface can harvest electricity from a distant source below ground. Is this a potentially important discovery?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0310144000.htm
Led by Peter Girguis, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences, and Arpita Bose, a post-doctoral fellow in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, a team of researchers showed that the commonly found bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris can use natural conductivity to pull electrons from minerals located deep in soil and sediment while remaining at the surface, where they absorb the sunlight needed to produce energy. The study is described in a February 26 paper in Nature Communications.
Phys.Org News Partner Biology news on Phys.org
Molecular gate that could keep cancer cells locked up
New study advances 'DNA revolution,' tells butterflies' evolutionary history
Man 'expelled from Croatia for punching monk seal'
Ygggdrasil
#2
Mar12-14, 10:30 AM
Other Sci
Sci Advisor
P: 1,378
Here's a link to the original study: A. Bose, E.J. Gardel, C. Vidoudez, E.A. Parra, P.R. Girguis. 2014. Electron uptake by iron-oxidizing phototrophic bacteria. Nature Communications, 5: 3391. doi:10.1038/ncomms4391.

Organisms capable of extracellular electron transfer (EET) have already been identified, so this is not the main point of the study. Rather, this study is important because the authors are able to begin characterizing the genetic and molecular basis for the EET activity of these bacteria. Knowing which genes are involved in EET and how the process occurs at a molecular level can potentially aid in developing new biotechnological applications (for example in energy or biofuel generation). Of course, we're still very far away from even knowing whether EET can be practical for such biotechnological applications.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Changes in Extracellular Fluid(ECF) osmolarity and volume Biology, Chemistry & Other Homework 0
During electron ionisation, how does an electron beam transfer energy to a molecule? Classical Physics 1
Electron Transfer Introductory Physics Homework 2
IntraCellular & Extracellular Recordings Biology 0
Extracellular signals and embryonic development Biology 2