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[Ars] Researchers put viruses to work to build a better solar cell

post #1 of 4
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Angela Belcher's research group at MIT has made a name for itself by using viruses—the biological kind—as a key part in a variety of nanoscale construction projects. So far, the work has focused on batteries, but this week a paper came out that indicated Belcher has turned her attention to photovoltaic devices. The work uses a virus to prepare carbon nanotubes for incorporation into a solar device, and sees a big boost in conversion efficiency.
And I thought viruses (biological) could only be bad or used for biological weapons of mass destruction.
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post #2 of 4
Fairly sure this is a repost, but I can't find the other article posted either
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post #3 of 4
Neato! I work in a protein design lab (folding as most of you know it). I always love articles like this. Designing custom proteins is going to be a huge field in the future, that's why I chose it as a career path. The possibilities are limited only by our imagination.
    
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post #4 of 4
Wanted to let everyone know that Dr. Belcher has a presentation posted. She seemed a little nervous, but TED (esp. at Caltech) is a pretty big deal. Great talk about the batteries, and a little about a water reduction reaction at the end that could be mean cheap hydrogen.

http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_belc...batteries.html

The whole structural biology field is changing rapidly. I see a lot of growth towards the larger structures. DNA origami and large scale structure design/prediction, such as Dr. Belcher's work, will revolutionize daily life in the next 30 years. Think plastics in the 50's. Tissue engineering, IPS stem cells, de-novo design of proteins (see this link http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0323154349.htm). We are moving FAST! Already printing whole genomes, can't wait until I can order my own custom organism from GMC/Monsanto/GE.
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