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A biodegradable battery fuelled by bacteria has been developed by scientists.
The device, which is activated using saliva and made by printing thin layers of metals on to a paper surface, is capable of powering a calculator or small light source.
Scientists - Technology - HIV - Tests - Sensors
Scientists claim the technology could fuel disposable HIV tests, glucose sensors and other medical devices in poor countries where electrical sources are sparse.
It could also help cut electronic waste because it decomposes naturally, they said.
Researchers - State - University - New - York
Researchers at the State University of New York, Binghamton, made the batteries using 'exoelectrogens' - bacteria that can transfer electrons outside of their cells.
These microbes were freeze-dried and placed on a paper surface, which was then layered with strips of metals and other materials.
Battery - Researchers - Saliva - Water - Bacteria
To activate the battery, researchers added saliva or water, which awoke the bacteria from their dormant state.
Electrons generated naturally by the microbes passed through their cell membrane and made contact with the battery's electrodes.
Scientists - Circuit - Charge - Power - Devices
This allowed the scientists to create a small electrical circuit that generates enough charge to power small, portable devices while producing little electrical waste.
'There's been a dramatic increase in electronic waste and this may be an excellent way to start reducing that,' study coauthor Dr Seokheun Choi said.
Prototype - Team
A prototype created by the team is capable of powering a...
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