Scientists Used This Mushroom to Generate Electricity From Light

mushroom_electricity

Scientists have bio-engineered a mushroom to generate electricity through photosynthesis as an organic alternative energy source. While the mushroom produced a relatively small amount of energy – less than what would be needed to power a lightbulb – it presents an opportunity for further development that could potentially lead to an entirely clean and organic fuel source.

A team, led by postdoctoral researcher Sudeep Joshi at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, used a bio-ink to 3D print cyanobacteria – a microbe capable of turning light into electrical energy – onto the cap of a mushroom. They then shone a light on the mushroom’s surface, finding the bacteria generated small amounts of electricity.

The cyanobacteria used in their experiment has excited scientists, due to its ability to synthesize electricity from sunlight, though on artificial surfaces it doesn’t fare so well — hence the mushroom medium.

The mushroom’s surface provides nutrients for the bacteria to thrive, creating a diverse microbiota, similar to bacteria that thrive in our gut. The team is hopeful their research could one day be scaled by finding a method to pack bacteria more densely and by wiring a collection of mushrooms together. They say several mushrooms wired in this fashion could power a small lamp.

“Right now we are using cyanobacteria from the pond, but you can genetically engineer them and you can change their molecules to produce higher photo currents, via photosynthesis,” Joshi told the BBC.

“It’s a new start; we call it engineered symbiosis. If we do more research, we can really push this field forward to have some type of effective green technology.”

Mushrooms and different types of fungi have been found to be effective treatments for a number of environmental issues ranging from saving bee populations from myriad threats, to breaking down plastics, and cleaning up oil spills. This latest discovery may just prove that mushrooms can provide yet another solution to help us live cleaner, more efficient lives.

One of the foremost experts in the field of mycology pioneering many of these fungal solutions is Paul Stamets, who runs the website Fungi Perfecti. Stamets considers the vast networks of mycelia – the roots of a mushroom that can populate a cubic inch of soil with 8 miles of cells – to be the internet infrastructure of our planet’s consciousness. In fact, mushroom mycelia are the largest living organisms on the planet, making the prospect of using them for energy all the more exciting.

Additionally, bacteria and other microorganisms such as archaea, are some of the oldest lifeforms on Earth, most of which have not been yet studied by humans. This leaves an incredible amount of potential to use them to solve some of the major environmental and energy crises of our era.

 

For more on the myriad mushroom potential, watch this episode of Inspirations with Lisa Garr and Paul Stamets: 

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The Chronovisor: The Vatican’s Mysterious Time Travel Device

While many regard H.G. Wells as a genius for inventing the idea of the time machine in his novel, “The Time Machine,” some believe he was revealing a top-secret capability. Since his novel was first published in 1895, thousands of books, articles, and videos have followed, documenting curious accounts of time travel and dimensions beyond the wildest of imaginations.

One of these works, Father François Brune’s 2002 book, “Le Nouveau Mystere du Vatican,” brings a forgotten time-travel device called the Chronovisor, back into the public eye — or at least into the minds of conspiracy theorists.

Brune, who learned of the device in the early 1960s, swears the Chronovisor exists. A day after he met scientist-priest Father Pellegrino Ernetti for the first time, the two were sailing along the Grand Canal of Venice discussing biblical interpretations, when Ernetti explained that theories and interpretations were unnecessary when one could see the truth for himself. He explained to Brune how the Chronovisor functioned, allowing the viewer to both see and hear events of the past and future. His full account is included in Brune’s book.

With a little digging, researchers will find first mentions of the Chronovisor in a 1972 article published in the Italian magazine “La Domenica del Corriere,” entitled, “A machine that photographs the past has finally been invented.”

Belonging to the Vatican, the Chronovisor time machine is heralded as one of the papacy’s best-kept secrets. The device is said to be replete with three precious alloys, cathodes, dials, levers, and that it has the ability to display myriad historic events in biblical and Roman history. Acting as a sort of television, the Chronovisor has even supposedly verified the existence of Jesus Christ and broadcast his crucifixion.

The Chronovisor time machine is claimed to have been invented in the 1950s by a dedicated and secret team of Italian scientists, including physicists Enrico Fermi and Pellegrino Ernetti. Critics may take credibility issues with the fact that Ernetti eventually became a priest.

However, Enrico Fermi’s reputation is nothing to scoff at. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1938 “for his demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons.”

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