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Electric life forms live on pure energy


Posted on Sunday, 20 July, 2014 | Comment icon 42 comments

The bacteria only need electricity to survive. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 ESO/M. Kornmesser
Scientists have identified extraordinary types of bacteria that literally live and breath electrons.
They might sound like something from a science fiction movie but these "electric bacteria" are genuine microorganisms that have evolved the ability to make use of energy in its purest form.

Two types are currently known, Shewanella and Geobacter, however scientists have been discovering even more by enticing them out of rocks and sediment using electrical bait.

Researcher Kenneth Nealson and his team at the University of Southern California are now experimenting with these new bacteria by growing them directly on electrodes and keeping them alive using nothing but a source of electricity.

In humans this would be the equivalent of surviving indefinitely off of an electrical outlet.

"It is truly foreign," said Nealson. "In a sense, alien."


Source: New Scientist | Comments (42)

Tags: Bacteria, Electrons

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #33 Posted by White Unicorn on 26 July, 2014, 0:52
Actually apparently there was a small group of more evolved human who lived that way and then were wiped out by us. Apparently they only needed water and some fruit here and there to increase their acidity balance. Also were going to start doing that sooner than a million years but it won't be genetic, it'll most likely come out as a technology for long-term space flight where there would be these microbes genetically modified to work with our bodies. Quite feasible within 100 or so years to introduce it. Much longer though for our biological systems to adapt and actually evolve. What is the n... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by White Unicorn on 26 July, 2014, 1:00
I really like that idea... I don't know if it's possible.. but , if it is, maybe it was possible in an earlier time as well... Wouldn't it be wild and weird if we have DEVOLVED from such beings . It almost sounds right... to me anyway, it really sounds right. It could suggest a new way to look at the myth of the fallen angels having children to the daughters of man. De evolution for them and evolution for some of us?
Comment icon #35 Posted by G3N0M3 on 26 July, 2014, 1:43
Honestly I have no idea how it was spelled only the sound of it and where they lived. They lived in a mountain valley in the Himalayas. It sounded something like Mankchu, Mantku, Mangtoo. Or Ma ~ ang ~ Tchoo Lots of things in google close to those but I don't know if anyone has written about them online. Maybe go to your local library and search up ancient civilizations, even mythological stories such as Atlantis since this is supposed to be around the same time.
Comment icon #36 Posted by White Unicorn on 26 July, 2014, 3:07
Honestly I have no idea how it was spelled only the sound of it and where they lived. They lived in a mountain valley in the Himalayas. It sounded something like Mankchu, Mantku, Mangtoo. Or Ma ~ ang ~ Tchoo Lots of things in google close to those but I don't know if anyone has written about them online. Maybe go to your local library and search up ancient civilizations, even mythological stories such as Atlantis since this is supposed to be around the same time. I think I know who you mean, derived from Manu a Tibetan or Indian doctrine more speculative than proven such as a Denisovan man whi... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by aquatus1 on 26 July, 2014, 8:20
And this thread was going so well until it flew off into woo woo land.
Comment icon #38 Posted by lightly on 26 July, 2014, 11:12
Just a short excursion to discuss some ideas... (that seem to match up fairly well with certain mythologies) No permanent damage done to the Universe aquatus.
Comment icon #39 Posted by lightly on 27 July, 2014, 10:44
... but Yes, to be on topic.. very interesting discovery. Plants convert EM energy to food... but, their bodies are made by converting matter ... Minerals and such?
Comment icon #40 Posted by White Unicorn on 27 July, 2014, 20:55
Just a short excursion to discuss some ideas... (that seem to match up fairly well with certain mythologies) No permanent damage done to the Universe aquatus. I agree On topic this new form of life discovered and the energy processes involved will send many imaginations into woo land. Nothing wrong with that as long as it's not presented as a fact. Many scientific discoveries were made with some inspiration from the sci fi of their times. The imagination causes some research to go in a different direction than the old standard theories and can lead to new and exciting discoveries in physics an... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by DieChecker on 28 July, 2014, 4:41
... but Yes, to be on topic.. very interesting discovery. Plants convert EM energy to food... but, their bodies are made by converting matter ... Minerals and such? I think the article claims that the researchers grew these microbes on nothing but electrical current. Which I still think is BS. The microbes can live off the electricity alone, but I don't see how they could grow or reproduce without physical substances being added into the system. OP Link: Over at the University of Minnesota in St Paul, Daniel Bond and his colleagues have published experiments showing that they could grow a type... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by Rei4ever on 4 August, 2014, 15:03
I always knew about this...... Actually microbes from ground or water surface are transported in the air via evaporation which microbes are lighter than water molecules... and there existing microbes in space , what more should i expect?


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