Using light-sensitive pigments is not a new concept, but it has encountered obstacles in the past. In 1988, Michael Grätzel, a Swiss scientist, used light-sensitive pigments to develop a solar cell called a dye-sensitized solar cell, or DSSC. "Most DSSCs suffer from some clear limitations," Yadav said. "Extraction of the dye from the natural source requires use of toxic solvents and energy, and the sensitivity of the dyes to lights results in significant degradation even before they are introduced into the solar cell. Our development directly addresses these limitations and seeks to make solar cell manufacturing, particularly for use in low-light environments, more affordable."
The word'cyborg' may bring to mind the terrifying robot from the Terminator film. But in a new study, scientists have created a less scary, and much more useful cyborg, by adapting bacteria. The cyborg bacteria are covered in tiny crystals that act as highly efficient solar panels, producing a range of useful compounds, with zero waste. The cyborg bacteria are covered in tiny crystals that act as highly efficient solar panels, producing a range of useful compounds (artist's impression pictured) The team used a type of bacteria called Moorella thermoacetica, which naturally produces acetic acid from carbon dioxide. Acetic acid is a versatile chemical that can be readily converted to a number of fuels, polymers, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
By 2040, about two-thirds of the world's population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa. Already, 1,000 smart city pilots are under construction or in their final urban planning stages across the globe, driving forward countless visions of the future. As data becomes the gold of the 21st century, centralized databases and hyper-connected infrastructures will enable everything from sentient cities that respond to data inputs in real time to smart public services that revolutionize modern governance. Connecting countless industries--real estate, energy, sensors and networks, and transportation, among others--tomorrow's cities pose no end of creative possibilities and stand to completely transform the human experience.
Bacteria are not always harmful. Yes, certain bacteria cause diseases in animals and humans but over the years, scientists have found ways to turn them into a cyborg and make human life simpler. A research presented at the 254th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Tuesday reveals how bacteria can out beat plants at photosynthesis. Kelsey K. Sakimoto, who led the research at Yang's Lab, University of California, Berkeley, harnessed inorganic semiconductors on bacteria with an aim to produce useful chemicals from carbon dioxide and water. "Rather than rely on inefficient chlorophyll to harvest sunlight, I've taught bacteria how to grow and cover their bodies with tiny semiconductor nanocrystals," Sakimoto was quoted as saying in a news release published by the ACS.
Researchers have released a new artificial photosynthesis system, Bionic Leaf 2.0. Plants take in carbon dioxide, water, and sunshine to create a sugary fuel. Now researchers have done the same, but even better. A recent study in Science describes the system, named Bionic Leaf 2.0. In the "leaf," solar energy splits up a water molecule, and bacteria turn hydrogen and carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, mainly isopropanol.