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Researchers Figure out How to Extract Power from Cockroaches

 |  |  |  |  |  |  February 3, 2012


I would bet we can all agree that we really don’t want cockroaches in our homes. They are disgusting little creatures after all, and any time I see one I’m convinced that I’m now eating roach poo. Scientists have found a good use for roaches though; they are actually using some straight up Matrix tech to turn roaches into copper-tops.

The process of using roaches to create power has something to do with an enzyme roaches have that can be turned into a cockroach biofuel cell. The enzyme from the roach is able to break down sugars in the digestive tract into simpler sugars called monosaccharides. A second enzyme is introduced that oxidizes the monosaccharides and results in the release of electrons or creation of power.

So far, the system only produces around 100 µW of power, which admittedly isn’t much. Who knows what be done with that little bit of power in the future, perhaps something along the lines of little remote-control roaches to invade roach strongholds and disperse bug killer. According to the researchers, hailing from Case Western Reserve University, the little bugs aren’t harmed in any way. The electronics that are used to create power can be removed from the insects with no lasting effects.

[via medGadget via OhGizmo!]



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