News Column

Study Findings from University of Massachusetts Provide New Insights into Biotechnology (Microbial nanowires for bioenergy applications)

July 30, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Current study results on Technology have been published. According to news reporting originating from Amherst, Massachusetts, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "Microbial nanowires are electrically conductive filaments that facilitate long-range extracellular electron transfer. The model for electron transport along Shewanella oneidensis nanowires is electron hopping/tunneling between cytochromes adorning the filaments."

Our news editors obtained a quote from the research from the University of Massachusetts, "Geobacter sulfurreducens nanowires are comprised of pili that have metal-like conductivity attributed to overlapping pi-pi orbitals of aromatic amino acids. The nanowires of Geobacter species have been implicated in direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET), which may be an important mode of syntrophy in the conversion of organic wastes to methane. Nanowire networks confer conductivity to Geobacter biofilms converting organic compounds to electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and increasing nanowire production is the only genetic manipulation shown to yield strains with improved current-producing capabilities. Introducing nanowires, or nanowire mimetics, might improve other bioenergy strategies that rely on extracellular electron exchange, such as microbial electrosynthesis."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Similarities between microbial nanowires and synthetic conducting polymers suggest additional energy-related applications."

For more information on this research see: Microbial nanowires for bioenergy applications. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 2014;27():88-95. Current Opinion in Biotechnology can be contacted at: Current Biology Ltd, 84 Theobalds Rd, London WC1X 8RR, England. (Elsevier -; Current Opinion in Biotechnology -

The news editors report that additional information may be obtained by contacting N.S. Malvankar, University of Massachusetts, Dept. of Microbiol, Amherst, MA 01003, United States (see also Technology).

Keywords for this news article include: Amherst, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America, Technology

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Source: Biotech Week

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