scientists have managed to jack in to the electrical generators of algae. the idea is to use the energy that the algae created with photosynthesis more efficiently, instead of waiting for the plant to die and grinding it all up for bio fuels.
they shoved tiny gold electrodes into the cell’s electrical centers, the chloroplasts, and then started measuring the electricity they produced when light was shone on the cells. they did this to a whole group of cells and produced less electricity than a comparable solar cell, but the promise is definitely there.
this kind of thing always piques my interest because there are so many possible alternatives for grabbing electricity out of naturally occurring processes. we don’t have to burn things and waste heat making steam or split atoms then wonder where to bury the cancer rods.
the full article complete with jargon is over here. hopefully we’ll see a lot more of this type of thing soon.