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Power Science Technology

MIT Secretly Built Mega-Efficient Nano Batteries 195

Posted by timothy
from the used-to-power-the-black-helicopter dept.
mattnyc99 writes "There was plenty of chatter last week about an MIT announcement that researcher Angela Belcher had developed a way to create virus-based nanoscale batteries to power mini gadgets of the future. In a fascinating followup at Popular Mechanics, Belcher now says that her unpublished work includes full-scale models of the batteries themselves, and that they could power everything from cars and laptops to medical devices and wearable armor. Quoting: 'We haven't ruled out cars. That's a lot of amplification. But right now the thing is trying to make the best material possible, and if we get a really great material, then we have to think about how do you scale it.'"
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MIT Secretly Built Mega-Efficient Nano Batteries

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  • Make product (Score:0, Interesting)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Friday August 29, 2008 @01:15AM (#24790411) Homepage Journal

    Bring product to market.

    Stop blabbering on and do it already.

  • by Ace905 (163071) on Friday August 29, 2008 @04:31AM (#24791423) Homepage

    You make an interesting point about Bacteria infecting things ; Maybe an offshoot of this research could be a medical-process for removing heavy metals from the human body. A method of completely counteracting Lead or Mercury poisoning. I wants to eats Salmon all the time darnit! I just don't want the brain tumours that go with it.

    I imagine though, that would involve creating a much more sophisticated virus that itself attracts the metals, rather than using the bacteria they've already created. Unless you could get it up your nose and leave it there so you can blow mercury snot out of your nose. That would be kind of cool, in a 'My snots toxic' kind of way.

    Man.... i'm tired.

  • Re:Make product (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Candid88 (1292486) on Friday August 29, 2008 @04:40AM (#24791483)

    "They built a "model" of the battery. They still haven't nailed down how to make the inside part work or how to build a real one. I could take out my legos and build a car battery sized box and say it's a "model" of what a magic battery would look like and say I haven't quite figured out how to make it generate electricity."

    This shows why analogies can be so bad. The two situations - despite sounding convincingly similar - are extremely different, as other people have pointed out.

    Mind you, it's not quite as bad as an anology I heard on the TV news the other day, that almost had me throwing something at it, the analogy was so misleading.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2008 @09:09AM (#24793205)

    But if we get more efficient at that (e.g. by building machines that then do the work with fewer human hours involved), we _should_, on average, have more free time for a given level of prosperity, right?

    And you most certainly could RIGHT NOW.

    I do. I work two months a year. I don't own a car and my only hi-tech gadget is my PC. I've chosen to live more simply and I'm amazed at how little money I spend compared to when I was working full time. And I'm much happier. Spending the best years of your life in an office is bullshit.

  • Re:Make product (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FriendlyPrimate (461389) on Friday August 29, 2008 @09:45AM (#24793689)

    What would be awesome is if there was a Wiki site for new technology claims like this where you could go and see what the current state of the technology is. For example, if you're curious about whatever happened to bla bla that you heard about 5 years ago, you can go look it up and find out why nothing ever came of it (instead of assuming the power industry bought it up and killed it).

  • Re:Efficiency? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Friday August 29, 2008 @11:09AM (#24795063)

    3. You can make each terminal incompatible with opposite polarity terminal, allowing for suspending those batteries in a liquid, or, if the batteries can bond with each other through (weak) hydrogen bonds, a large mass of them might already be in liquid form.

    While that seems like a great idea, I don't see how it can prevent loops from happening - while it keeps the + and - terminals of each battery connected in series properly, it doesn't keep it from eventually forming a huge loop and shorting itself out...

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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