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MIT’s Belcher uses engineered virus to split water

Angela Belcher and team at MIT have tweaked a bacterial virus to serve as a scaffolding to:

attract and bind with molecules of a catalyst (the team used iridium oxide) and a biological pigment (zinc porphyrins). The viruses became wire-like devices that could very efficiently split the oxygen from water molecules.

Belcher says that

within two years she expects to have a prototype device that can carry out the whole process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen, using a self-sustaining and durable system.

This is just a very early taste of what we can expect someday from more extensively designed molecular machine systems.  —Chris Peterson

9 Responses to “MIT’s Belcher uses engineered virus to split water”

  1. Automutt Says:

    Fuel for Cars, Energy for Homes,

    With the advent of nano-extraction techniques, the extraction of
    hydrogen from sea water for the use of power generation and fueling
    of cars is a step closer. NGEN’s proposed conversion of coal and gas
    fired power stations to hydrogen and the supply of hydrogen for cars
    will revolutionise the worlds energy sector.

  2. zenbillionaire Says:

    Now for your next trick Angela, please arrange for your pet bacteria to eat raw sewage.

    Nice work!

  3. steam for mac Says:

    wow.. interesting.. let’s see where to next

  4. Vedette Shapewear Says:

    Wow..look so awesome…I don’t like science but, I love reading about it and see experiments..

  5. LarryW Says:

    Interesting post, but I think two years is way too less for such a thing.

  6. Giochi Says:

    Progresses in nanotechnologies are very fast but i think it will take more than two years to reach the goal

  7. DRB Says:

    The ability to produce clean fresh water as a leading by-product of the nanoextraction of hydrogen from sea water via reverse engineering and associated practices is a goal of many involved in this exciting
    field of science. The confluence of providing energy and water for our growing cities and towns available to us at the initial engineering of our nanoextraction facilities

  8. Joshua Leach Says:

    This sounds great! Being able to split water into the two workable elements if essential for improved fuel development. This technology may help us get close to that refueling station on the moon! When this is available for commercial use we would like offer this kind of technology for Government agencies.

    Joshua Leach
    Dodworld.com
    Dod Consulting

  9. Inedible Ink » Engineered virus to split water molecules Says:

    [...] folks doing this research:  the Foresight Institute » MIT’s Belcher uses engineered virus to split water need to go and read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s [...]

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