MIT Creates Viruses That Mimic Photosynthesis

Innovation could create unlimited solar power
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2010 6:27 PM CDT
Soon, we may be able to harness solar power as efficiently as plants.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Scientists building complex, designer viruses in the lab may sound sort of terrifying, but what if those viruses could potentially solve the world’s energy problems? A group of researchers at MIT has fabricated an artificial virus that can be fabricated into wire-like chains that can transport solar power and use it to break down water into its component parts—just like plants do during photosynthesis, Popular Science explains.

Unfortunately, there’s still one hitch. The goal is to get hydrogen from the water, and use that hydrogen as fuel. But at present the process not only pulls the hydrogen from the oxygen, it breaks it down to its component atoms and protons. But the MIT guys aren’t concerned; they’re trying to fabricate a new bio-mimicking system to reassemble the hydrogen. They think they can perfect the process within two years.

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