When you think of ‘energy’, ‘snail’ is not usually the next word that comes to mind. But researchers at Clarkson University aim to change that. They have implanted a living snail with a biofuel cell that creates electricity using the snail’s natural glucose as fuel. Really, we’re not making this up!
The snail lives its life as usual with some electrodes implanted in its body and then connected to an external circuit. PETA may not love the technology, but the scientists involved in the study maintain that the snails live a happy and mostly uninterrupted life.
While the technology is admittedly in its infancy, the eventual idea is to create robotic life that can internally power itself. It’s no
surprise that the Department of Defense is very interested in the research. They have been looking for ways to increasingly remove live humans from battle and replace them with different types of robots.
This research, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, is not the only paper dealing with electricity produced by living creatures. A similar study was just conducted by Daniel Scherson at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In his study, the creature of choice was a cockroach. Just imagine, your house could someday be powered by a hoard of wild cockroaches. Ew!
Photos: Clarkson University