British scientists working with the Energy Department have devised a synthetic version of the shewanella oneidensis marine bacteria that has the ability to conduct electricity and could one day be a component in self-powered microbial fuel cells. "Our research shows that these proteins can directly 'touch' the mineral surface and produce an electric current, meaning that [it] is possible for the bacteria to lie on the surface of a metal or mineral and conduct electricity through their cell membranes," said researcher Tom Clarke.

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