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An international gang of biologists has carried out an audacious heist, stealing valuable electrons from photosynthesising algae.

The power grab could open a route to more efficient exploitation of photosynthesis to power machines: with biofuels we are already converting solar power into a form that engines can use, but almost three-quarters of the sunlight energy absorbed by the organisms is lost before it can be turned into the sugars or starches used to make biofuels.

Grabbing photosynthetic energy earlier in the process should allow much more to be extracted, says WonHyoung Ryu at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. "Theoretically we should be able to collect all photosynthetic electrons."

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You know, of the dozen or so news threads I've made in the last day or two, this was the one I would have guessed people would pick up on. Also, bump in case nobody saw it.
 

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Ahhh nice
 

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Umm, coming from a bio background this line of research is... ah, not terribly promising. you'd have to manufacture, place, aim, and pierce EVERY SINGLE CELL in order to extract energy. You'd likely use up more energy than the cell could generate before dying (then you could reuse the electrode) but seriously? We're better off doing systems biology to tailor their metabolism toward making biofuels than this.
 
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