A bacterium that switched to… electrical power

Among people who choose a healthy diet, the debate about whether it is possible to switch to “sun eating” does not subside. This would be the logical conclusion of the evolution of nutrition along the lines of meat-eating-veganism-veganism-raw food-eating fresh juices-eating water-sun eating.

In fact, sun-eating means the consumption of solar energy in its purest form – without intermediate factors such as the consumption of plants, fruits, vegetables and grains, nuts and seeds (all of which consume the energy of the sun in its purest form, and in addition, nutrients from the soil), and especially animals (which consume food of the second level – plants, vegetables, cereals, seeds, etc.).

If now in the West there are people who have made such a transition, then there are only a few of them. However, the new discovery of scientists sheds new light on the problem of energy supply in its purest form, and actually proves its possibility of a living, breathing being.

Scientists from the famous Harvard University (UK) discovered that the ubiquitous bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris, it turns out, is powered by electricity. It uses the natural electrical conductivity of certain minerals to remotely “suck” electrons from metals located deep in the soil.

The bacterium itself lives on the surface of the earth, and additionally feeds on sunlight. Sounds like science fiction, but now it’s scientific fact.

Harvard scientists called such a diet – electricity and sunlight – the strangest in the world. Professor Peter Gierguis, one of the co-authors of the study, said about this: “When you imagine a living organism that is powered by electricity, most people immediately think of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but we have long established that in fact all organisms use electrons – what what constitutes electricity is for its functioning.”

“The basis of our research,” he said, “is the discovery of a process that we called Extracellular Electron Transfer (ECT), which involves drawing electrons into the cell or throwing them out. We were able to prove that these microbes draw electricity and use it in their metabolism, and we were able to describe some of the mechanisms that make up this process.”

The scientists first discovered that the microbes Rhodopseudomonas palustris “feed” electricity from the iron in the soil and thought they “eat” the iron’s electrons. But when the bacteria were transferred to a laboratory environment where they did not have access to the mineral iron, it turned out that this is just their preferred, but not the only food! “Rhodopseudomonas palustris” only eat iron electrons in the wild. In general, they are … electron-omnivorous, and can consume electricity from any other electron-rich metals, including sulfur.

“This is a revolutionary discovery,” said Prof. Girgius, because it changes our understanding of how the aerobic and anaerobic worlds interact. For a long time, we believed that the basis of their interactions is only the exchange of chemicals. In fact, this means that living organisms consume from their “non-living” food not only nutrients, but also electricity!

Scientists have managed to figure out which gene is responsible for the ability to consume electricity the way Rhodopseudomonas palustris does, and even learned how to strengthen and weaken it. “Such genes are ubiquitous in other microbes in nature,” Girgius said. – but we do not yet know what they do in other organisms (and why they do not allow them to consume electricity – Vegetarian). But we have received very inspiring evidence that such a process is possible in other microorganisms.”

The groundwork for the study was laid about 20 years ago when another group of scientists discovered other bacteria that “breathe” rust (“pulling” oxygen out of iron oxide). “Our bacteria are a mirror image of those,” said Girgius, “instead of using iron oxide for respiration, they actually synthesize iron oxide from the iron found in the soil as a mineral.”

Scientists have found that in the places of “residence” of the bacteria “Rhodopseudomonas palustris” the soil is gradually saturated with rust – which, as you know, has electrical conductivity. Such a “nest” or “web” of rust allows “Rhodopseudomonas” to draw electrons from the depth of the soil with greater efficiency.

Dr. Girgius explained that in this way, unique bacteria solved the paradox of sun-dependent creatures – thanks to the electrical circuits they created, they receive electrons from the depths of the soil, while they themselves remain on the surface of the earth to feed on the sun.

Naturally, the practical application of this research goes far beyond the fact that it is possible to remove rust or “rust” something well with nano-methods, and first of all, medical applications are obvious. Although Professor Gigrius stubbornly denies the possibility of using new bacteria as an (endless?) source of electricity, he nevertheless admitted that Rhodopseudomonas could “create something interesting” from electrons, which they could be fed from an electrode, as from a spoon.

Well, for us, perhaps the most interesting thing is that the bacterium, in fact, brought the concept of ethical nutrition to its logical conclusion. Who wouldn’t want to not eat anyone at all, but eat clean energy?

It is also interesting to trace the logical connection of this advanced scientific discovery with the ancient Indian science of Yoga, where healing and partly nourishing the body occurs due to the so-called “prana”, or “life energy”, which corresponds in the physical world with negatively charged electrons.

It is also interesting that yoga adepts from ancient times recommended doing yoga practices in places rich in prana – on the banks of rivers and lakes, in the forest, in caves, in flower gardens, near an open fire, etc. Nowadays, there are a number of modern methods to charge water with negative particles (water “optimization” geyser installations), which are considered useful. But by and large, we still know little about this issue. Whether a person is able to “learn” to feed on electricity from the bowels of the Earth or not – time will tell, and genetics.


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