That's right. The coolest, creepiest source of green energy around is a biofuel cell made from a living insect. A female false death's head cockroach, to be precise.
From: J. Am. Chem.Soc. 2012, 134, 1458−1460
Scientists prepared the electrodes by coating them with enzymes to catalyze the electrical reaction. Then, the roach was sedated with carbon dioxide. Her legs were pinned with staples to prevent her from moving. Scientists inserted electrodes into the "blood sinus" in her belly without damaging any of her internal organs. The procedure was so gentle that when the experiment was over, the roach got up and walked away.
This living fuel cell generated about 0.2 volts. It would take 100 million cockroaches to power one 100-Watt lightbulb, but a lot of microdevices run on a lot less juice. And roaches aren't the only species that are naturally electrifying - the experiment worked on shiitake mushrooms, too.
Military and intelligence applications are already being discussed (of course), but why stop there?
|Image courtesy of Marvel|
What toys would you run, if you were your own battery? Bonus points if you'd help save the world from the Chitauri!