Researchers using viruses to build nano-electronics

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MIT researchers have begun using bio-engineered viruses to build nanomaterials with wide-ranging applications, like thin battery fibers that may one day be woven directly into clothing. The process, which is being developed by Professor Angela Belcher and her team, has gained the interest of the US military for its potential in creating new types of sensors, solar cells, and batteries, as part of future combat gear. There’s still a way to go, however — right now all the virus-built fibers really do is glow red under ultraviolet, but Belcher is confident her “directed evolution” development technique will allow her viral construction crew to build more sophisticated fibers soon. Here’s hoping — we’d kill to recharge our devices with some stylin’ battery-pants.


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