Electron uptake by microbes

Electricity of Microbes. The electric circle of life.

Is this an episode in the Electricity of Life video series from the Thunderbolts Project?

A Washington University team showed how a phototrophic microbe called Rhodopseudomonas palustris takes up electrons from conductive substances like metal oxides or rust to reduce carbon dioxide.

New research from Washington University in St. Louis explains the cellular processes that allow a sun-loving microbe to "eat" electricity—transferring electrons to fix carbon dioxide to fuel its growth.

The study builds on Bose's previous discovery that R palustris TIE-1 can consume electrons from rust proxies like poised electrodes, a process called extracellular electron uptake. R palustris is phototrophic, which means that it uses energy from light to carry out certain metabolic processes. The new research explains the cellular sinks where this microbe dumps the electrons it eats from electricity.
Study shows how electricity-eating microbes use electrons to fix carbon dioxide

extracellular electron uptake life

Biology transforming chemical elements?

Just when we thought we knew it all, scientists have discovered that there are microbes that eat electricity, which is about as strange as people snacking by shoving a finger in an electric socket. What’s more, these microbes are very common. Scientists are finding them in many different places. They’ve remained hidden so long because they don’t grow well in science laboratories. Arpita Bose describes these fantastic bugs in a new animation.
Bacteria that Eat Electricity | Washington University in St. Louis


Electromagnetic circuits of bacteria and life

Extracellular electron uptake by microbes. Energy transformation and information exchange by bacterial and cellular life?

extracellular electron uptake microbes

Guzman added: "The main challenge is that it's an anaerobe, so you need to grow it in an environment that doesn't have oxygen in order for it to harvest light energy. But the flip side to that is that those challenges are met with a lot of versatility in this organism that a lot of other organisms don't have."

In their new paper, the researchers showed that the electrons from electricity enter into proteins in the membrane that are important for photosynthesis. Surprisingly, when they deleted the microbe's ability to fix carbon dioxide, they observed a 90 percent reduction in its ability to consume electricity.

"It really wants to fix carbon dioxide using this system," Bose said. "If you take it away - this innate ability - it just doesn't want to take up electrons at all."
Study shows how electricity-eating microbes use electrons to fix carbon dioxide

Bacteria biological transmutation of chemical elements?

extracellular electron uptake microbes

Thanks to @Spottycub for link to original article.