Electrically Conducting Bacteria

In summary, this article describes what is known about bacteria that can generate electricity from redox reactions, and how this might be used in future. There are still many unanswered questions, but this research is definitely intriguing.
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TL;DR Summary
This article describes the developing awareness of bacteria that conduct electricity in different ways to make use of the redox energy in physically separated areas.
This news article in Science magazine describes what is becoming known about the different kinds of bacteria that can do this, what is known about how they do it, and how people might make use of the phenomena.
The bacteria conduct electricity through either small nano-filaments sticking out from individual cells or in cables formed of protein "wires" around a string of bacteria.

Screen Shot 2020-08-20 at 8.04.27 PM.png

Their chemical abilities expand the possibilities of the ecology (as a set of biological reactions, in an area, using available energy) to make use of these, otherwise under-utilized, environmental energy sources.

I remain curious about how the bacteria through out the length of the cable get benefit from being part of the cable where they just appear to passing the electrons along the chain.
 
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Biology news on Phys.org
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Dang! Must have been sleepy when I posted this.
Here's the link to the news article which should not be behind a pay-wall unless you go there too often (few times a month free I think).
As a AAAS member, I think these articles should be open access in an unlimited manner. It's good PR for science in general.

Interestingly to me:
This making use of redox differences between different chemicals (in different locations, unusually in this case), is the basis of what drives the great variety of microbial metabolisms.

As long as a bacteria (or archaea) can generate a metabolism that harvests energy (from a sufficiently large redox difference, to drive particular cellular reactions) from these reactions, they can evolve ways to plug electron donors and electron acceptors into the biologically universal electron transfer chain, which in turn drives cell energy generation.
I would expect cells to somehow get make some use of these electrons going by to drive the ETS, but don't know how this might work.
 
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Related to Electrically Conducting Bacteria

1. What are electrically conducting bacteria?

Electrically conducting bacteria, also known as electrogenic bacteria, are a type of microorganism that have the ability to transfer electrons outside of their cells. This allows them to produce electrical currents, which can be harnessed for various applications.

2. How do electrically conducting bacteria produce electricity?

Electrically conducting bacteria produce electricity through a process called extracellular electron transfer. This involves the transfer of electrons from the bacteria's cell membrane to an external electrode, creating an electrical current.

3. What are the potential applications of electrically conducting bacteria?

Electrically conducting bacteria have potential applications in bioremediation, where they can be used to clean up pollutants in the environment. They can also be used in microbial fuel cells to generate electricity, and in biosensors for detecting contaminants in food and water.

4. How are electrically conducting bacteria different from other types of bacteria?

Electrically conducting bacteria have a unique ability to transfer electrons outside of their cells, which sets them apart from other types of bacteria. This allows them to produce electricity and interact with their environment in a different way.

5. Are electrically conducting bacteria harmful to humans?

Most electrically conducting bacteria are not harmful to humans. In fact, some species, such as Geobacter sulfurreducens, have been found to have potential benefits for human health, such as aiding in the treatment of wastewater and producing valuable compounds like antibiotics.

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