Navigation Links
Biological wires carry electricity thanks to special amino acids
Date:3/11/2013

Slender bacterial nanowires require certain key amino acids in order to conduct electricity, according to a study to be published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Tuesday, March 12.

In nature, the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens uses these nanowires, called pili, to transport electrons to remote iron particles or other microbes, but the benefits of these wires can also be harnessed by humans for use in fuel cells or bioelectronics. The study in mBio reveals that a core of aromatic amino acids are required to turn these hair-like appendages into functioning electron-carrying biological wires.

"It's the aromatic amino acids that make it a wire," says lead author Derek Lovley of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Lovley and his colleagues removed the pivotal amino acids from the pili and replaced them with smaller, non-aromatic amino acids. Without these key components, Lovley says, the pili are nothing more than protein strings. "We showed it's not good enough to just make the string - you've got to make a wire," says Lovley.

G. sulfurreducens "breathes" by removing electrons from organic materials and funneling them to iron oxides or to other microorganisms, much the way humans pull electrons out of organic molecules in food and dump them on oxygen. The bacteria use their pili to reach out to iron oxides or other microbes, transferring the "waste" electrons along the structure to the destination. Geobacter's pili are only 3-5 nanometers wide, but they can be 20 micrometers long, many times longer than the cell itself.

Trafficking in electrons is how all living things breathe, but it is normally carried out by discrete proteins or other molecules that act like containers for shuttling electrons from one place to another. Lovley says earlier results showed the pili in G. sulfurreducens possess metallic-like conductivity, th
'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Wayne State University researchers techniques enable more, faster testing of biological liquids
2. Snooze button on biological clocks improves cell adaptability
3. Advance promises to expand biological control of crop pests
4. Visualizing biological networks in 4-D
5. Cornell engineers solve a biological mystery and boost artificial intelligence
6. The neurobiological consequence of predating or grazing
7. UTSA engineer Hai-Chao Han named Fellow of Medical and Biological Engineering Institute
8. A nanoscale window to the biological world
9. Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials
10. New book details the biological and cultural diversity of Khawa Karpo, sacred mountain of Tibet
11. Developing second skin military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/24/2015)... , Aug. 24, 2015  Based on its recent analysis ... with the 2015 African Biometrics Company of the Year Award. ... substantial commercial success in Africa . It ... where it has implemented one of the largest biometric mass ... well as the Central Bank of Nigeria ...
(Date:8/20/2015)... 20, 2015 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market and creator ... The Smart Card Alliance and the EMV Migration Forum.  ... the Smart Card Alliance Latin America (SCALA) Chapter provides ... and thought leaders promoting adoption of smart card technology. ...
(Date:8/18/2015)... 17, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "Global Biometric Authentication & Identification Market: Focus ... Forecast, 2015-2020" report to their offering. ... systems market is expected to grow at an ... and generate over $25 billion (approximately) by 2020 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Frost & Sullivan Applauds DERMALOG's Rise as the Supplier of Best-in-class Biometric Solutions in Africa 2Frost & Sullivan Applauds DERMALOG's Rise as the Supplier of Best-in-class Biometric Solutions in Africa 3Frost & Sullivan Applauds DERMALOG's Rise as the Supplier of Best-in-class Biometric Solutions in Africa 4Frost & Sullivan Applauds DERMALOG's Rise as the Supplier of Best-in-class Biometric Solutions in Africa 5Frost & Sullivan Applauds DERMALOG's Rise as the Supplier of Best-in-class Biometric Solutions in Africa 6NXT-ID, Inc. Joins Smart Card Alliance and EMV Migration Forum 2NXT-ID, Inc. Joins Smart Card Alliance and EMV Migration Forum 3NXT-ID, Inc. Joins Smart Card Alliance and EMV Migration Forum 4Global Biometric Authentication & Identification Market 2015: Focus On Modality, Motility & Application - Estimation & Forecasts to 2020 for the $25 Billion Industry 2
... dwelling at deep-sea hydrothermal vents opt for temperatures of ... choice of conditions, giving them the highest thermal preference ... for extreme temperatures may be the undersea worms' meal ... to access -- and feast on -- lush mats ...
... for measuring blood levels of specialized cells that circulate ... lining has been discovered by Duke University Medical Center ... are produced in the bone marrow and travel to ... that tests for EPCs could be used to assess ...
... for Biophysical Chemistry and other German and French ... with special protein synthesis procedures to uncover how ... structure. This work could make it possible to ... other diseases connected to potassium channel failure (Nature, ...
Cached Biology News:Some like it hot: Worms at deep-sea vents favor a fiery 45-55°C 2Measuring artery repair cells could become new heart disease test 2Measuring artery repair cells could become new heart disease test 3Unraveling the mysteries of poison 2
(Date:9/2/2015)... CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia , September 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Sponsoring der Gewinner des Wettbewerbs BeHEARD von 2015 ... einen internationalen vom Rare Genomics Institute. ... Wirksamkeit von Medikamenten für die Behandlung anderer Krankheiten ... wurde, Steven Laffoon und sein Team ...
(Date:9/2/2015)... ... September 02, 2015 , ... ... to creating professional commercial video content, to analysis of athletic performance. Producing ... that go by too quickly to process with the naked eye. , ...
(Date:9/1/2015)... The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) is now accepting ... program. LOIs are due no later than Wednesday, October ... Discovery Grants are one-year, $50,000 grants that fund high risk/high ... or treatment paradigms for adults and children with brain ... earliest stages, in the hopes that it spurs additional ...
(Date:9/1/2015)... ... September 01, 2015 , ... In her thought provoking debut novel ‘ Ebola ... not-so-distant future faced with an Ebola pandemic that is on the cusp of wiping ... enter the world of counterterrorism, and who continues to appear in this series of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Biovista sponsert die Forschung von Wylder Nation Foundation zum Thema Mangel an saurer Sphingomyelinase 2Fastec Introduces the Quad-HD TS5-Q High-Speed Camera 2Fastec Introduces the Quad-HD TS5-Q High-Speed Camera 3American Brain Tumor Association Seeks Innovative Concepts For Discovery Research Grants 2Alexi Venice’s Debut Novel Takes on the Human Testing of a Vaccine for Ebola and Revenge by an Anti-Big Pharma Terrorist Group in ‘Ebola Vaccine Wars' 2Alexi Venice’s Debut Novel Takes on the Human Testing of a Vaccine for Ebola and Revenge by an Anti-Big Pharma Terrorist Group in ‘Ebola Vaccine Wars' 3
... 5, 2012  Nabsys, Inc., has initiated its transition ... the appointment of Stan Rose, Ph.D., as the ... announcing that Jeffrey Sklar, M.D., Ph.D., has agreed ... Nabsys is pioneering the development of a ...
... are getting smaller and smaller, flirting with new devices ... the shrinking of our technology is reaching an end. ... our electronics will stop. One promising alternative is graphene ... is not a semiconductor, but it can be altered ...
... 2012  Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) will be presenting ... San Francisco on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 2:00 ... I. Frost, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100302/LA63139LOGO ) The presentation will ...
Cached Biology Technology:Nabsys Expands Leadership Team to Prepare for Commercialization of Novel DNA Positional Sequencing Technology 2Nabsys Expands Leadership Team to Prepare for Commercialization of Novel DNA Positional Sequencing Technology 3Nabsys Expands Leadership Team to Prepare for Commercialization of Novel DNA Positional Sequencing Technology 4'Nanowiggles:' Scientists discover graphene nanomaterials with tunable functionality in electronics 2'Nanowiggles:' Scientists discover graphene nanomaterials with tunable functionality in electronics 3