Generating electricity from viruses as you walk

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity.

The generator produces enough current to operate a small liquid-crystal display. It works by tapping a finger on a postage stamp-sized electrode coated with specially engineered viruses. The viruses convert the force of the tap into an electric charge.

Their generator is the first to produce electricity by harnessing the piezoelectric properties of a biological material. Piezoelectricity is the accumulation of a charge in a solid in response to mechanical stress.

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