back to article Berkeley bio-boffins' butt-blasting belly-bothering batt-teria generates electricity

Scientists have discovered that a type of stomach bug contracted from unpasteurized dairy or raw meat can produce electricity. Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogenic bacteria that causes listeriosis, a particularly nasty infection that can be fatal. Milder symptoms include diarrhea, but it can also lead to more serious …

I always wondered how the human batteries in The Matrix worked. Now we know.

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Given all the hassle of having to hunt down the humans who escape the Matrix you'd think the machines could find a way to harness the bacteria directly and dispose of the pesky humans that host them.

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If they were connected to peltric sets I can see why they were kept unconscious.

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I am not a battery

In the Matrix humans are used for the body heat they generate which is then converted into electricity, if you recall you will have heard Morpheus mention the power produced in BTUs which is of course British Thermal Units.

This bacteria option is far more direct and would enable the machines to dispense with humans altogether.

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Re: I am not a battery

Using humans body heat for electricity seems like a very inefficient way to generate power. Was The Matrix coded by Microsoft?

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It shouldn't be a surprise, really

Given that all higher forms of life uses electrical signals to control muscles, communicate pain, and do the whole "thinking" thing, it shouldn't really come as a surprise that bacteria have the ability to swap electrons.

The evolution of life from single-celled beings to multi-cellular organisms must have started from such basic building blocks, and the ability to pass electrical signals between cells is essential for that process, whether you are a bacteria or a eukaryote.

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So that's how Uncle Fester did it.

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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Next time I get the runs

I'll see if I can charge my mobile from my tortured guts

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Re: Next time I get the runs

So you'll be charging your iPhone from green Apple iSplatters?

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Pint

Can't wait until they are developed into something that can eat all my excrement and keep a battery charged at the same time!

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FAIL

Do the math(s)

500 milliAmps. The team estimate that each bacteria cell can give off about 100,000 electrons per second.

[...] In the electrochemical chamber there are approximately 100 billion bacterial cells,

10^5 x 10^11 = 10^16 electrons per second

1A =~ 6 x 10^18 electrons per second -> 0.5A =~ 3 x 10^18 electrons per second

Two orders of magnitude error. Tsk

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Re: Do the math(s)

That was my first thought - one of those critters could charge my phone!

Wonder if it was micro amps or millivolts?

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Re: Do the math(s)

exactly where I was going ... big jobbie error somewhere ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do the math(s)

The press release said it was 500 millivolts and 500 microamps.

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"Hello, customer service...?"

I'm trying to charge my phone and I can't remember: Do I swallow the anode and shove the cathode up my ass, or is it the other way around?

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Terminator

Great.

Soon when our batteries fail, they won't just be munitions; they'll be biological weapons...

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What you'll eat next will shock you!

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Does the overall sotmach output voltage vary with the strength of the curry eaten the night before?

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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"The Matrix" would have been a lot less cinematic with petri dishes fighting for freedom.

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Some consolation ...

If you are way up shit creek, at least you might be able to recharge your phone

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Will someone please think.....

Will someone please think about the defenceless bacteria. They are lifeforms, living, reproducing and trying to have a jolly good time of it, but some git in a lab coat is trying to stuff them into little tin cans to power your latest iGaget.

they need a spokes-bug and join Unison or Unite to get them a fair deal.

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Re: Will someone please think.....

Just get P.E.T.A on the case!

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