Bacterial Spores Power Small Engine

This tiny car rolls along at a clip of 4 inches per minute.

RELATED TAGS: GADGETS, MICROBES & VIRUSES
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A car that runs on bacteria? It might not be quite the kind of car you’re imagining, but researchers report they have built a rotary engine powered by bacterial spores. A spore lengthens as it soaks up water from the air and shortens with evaporation. To harvest energy from those natural movements, biophysicist Ozgur Sahin and his Columbia University colleagues glued spores to both sides of small tapes, shown in yellow. When dry, the spores make the tapes curl; in humid surroundings, they...
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