Go Back   MajorWager Forums > MW - Online Sportsbooks > The Canteen
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-25-2004, 11:55 AM
Bootney Farnsworth Bootney Farnsworth is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,524
Default I'm Strong to the Finish Cuz I eats my Spinach....

MIT Works to Power Computers With Spinach

By MARK PRATT, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON - "Eat your spinach," Mom used to say. "It will make your muscles grow, power your laptop and recharge your cell phone... " OK. So nobody's Mom said those last two things. But researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (news - web sites) say they have used spinach to harness a plant's ability to convert sunlight into energy for the first time, creating a device that may one day power laptops, mobile phones and more.

AP Photo

Photosynthesis, the process by which plants use light beams for energy rather than eating food like animals, has been known to scientists for decades.

But attempts to combine the organic with the electronic had always failed: Isolate the photosynthetic proteins that capture the energy from sunlight, and they die. Inject the water and salt needed to keep the proteins alive, and the electronic equipment is destroyed.

That was until Shuguang Zhang, associate director of MIT's Center for Biomedical Engineering, discovered that protein building blocks called detergent peptides could be manipulated to keep the proteins alive up to three weeks while in contact with electronics.

"Stabilizing the protein is crucial," said Zhang, who collaborated with researchers from MIT, the University of Tennessee and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, including electrical engineers, nanotechnology experts and biologists. "Detergent peptide turned out to be a wonderful material to keep proteins intact."

The scientists, whose findings were first reported by in NanoLetters, a publication of the American Chemical Society, then created a "spinach sandwich."

Why spinach?

In reality, any number of plants could have been used. But the researchers chose spinach because "it is cheap and is easily available from the grocery store," Zhang said.

The spinach was ground up and purified to isolate a protein deep within the spinach cells.

A top layer of glass was coated underneath with a conductive material and a thin layer of gold to aid the chemical reaction. In the middle, the spinach-peptide mixture sits on a soft, organic semiconductor that prevents electrical shorts and protects the protein complexes from a bottom layer of metal.

By shining laser light on the "sandwich," researchers were able to generate a tiny current. While one device by itself can't generate much energy, billions of them together could produce enough electricity to power a device.

"It's like a penny," Zhang said. "One penny is not much use, but 1 billion pennies is a lot of money."

Practical applications are still a decade or so away, but the advantages include the technology's lightweight qualities, portability and environmental friendliness. "There is no waste," Zhang said.

The researchers suggest the technology could be used as a backup energy supply for battery-powered portable devices.

"We have crossed the first hurdle of successfully integrating a photosynthetic protein molecular complex with a solid-state electronic device," said Marc Baldo, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT.

Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-28-2004, 02:53 PM
6Pack 6Pack is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 396
Default RE:I'm Strong to the Finish Cuz I eats my Spinach....

Such a great idea!!!
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:00 PM.

Please be advised that if you are wagering over the internet, this is illegal in many jurisdictions. A wagering site may be operating legally at their location but it may still be illegal for you to wager from your location. We suggest you check on the legal situation from any jurisdiction in which you may wager.

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.0.0 RC6