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Cool Technology Alert - Bacteria-Powered Gears

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Graphic showing the movement of gears turned by the bacteria. Click image for larger version. (Credit: Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University)

Graphic showing the movement of gears turned by the bacteria. Click image for larger version. (Credit: Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University)

Maybe you've seen this already, but who cares? This is just an awesome shot of cool technology, with jaw-dropping ramifications.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University have discovered that common bacteria can turn microgears when suspended in a solution, providing insights for designs of bio-inspired dynamically adaptive materials for energy.

Microscopic gears are placed in a solution that contains bacteria that can be "programmed" to swim in specific directions so as to "turn" the gears. By adding or shutting off oxygen to the mix, the motion of the gears is turned on and off.

The potential of this technology is staggering - think bio-metrics, medical, and other life sciences - and brings science fiction to life in actual reality.

This sort of discovery also shows the value of supporting innovation and the vast wealth it creates.

Can you make this part?

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