Cyborg Lobsters Could Produce Electricity for Bio-Medical Applications

G4 TV/Video screen capture

Last month, I wrote about a project by researchers at Clarkson University to convert the glucose of living snails into electricity. Now the same team has taken things a step further: they've moved on to lobsters.

G4 TV/Video screen capture

In the below video produced by G4TV.com, the leader of the project, Dr. Evgeny Katz, says that what they're trying "is very easy to do in a test tube, but the challenging part of our work is to do it in a living creature."

The idea is to harness the glucose produced by the lobster and uses a special enzyme to convert it to electricity, channeled through a cell implanted in the crustacean. (A PhD student notes that because the lobster has no nerve endings there, it doesn't feel any pain.)

The experiment was a success; producing enough electricity (the equivalent of 8-10 percent of a AAA battery) to power a small motor. The goal is not to power devices like phones, but small bio-medical products. If a person's pace maker could be run off their natural electric currents, then the battery would never have to be replaced.

On the other hand, DARPA has an eye on this technology for military purposes: possibly an army of insect cyborgs.

Tags: Animals | Biology | Electricity

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