America: Spinach Solar Power Source
According to the Boston Business Journal, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has succeeded in combining tiny proteins in spinach with solid state electronics, potentially producing a solar power source that one day might power mobile devices.
From spinach choroblasts, the scientists derived a protein complex measuring 10 to 20 nanometers across, small enough to fit 100,000 on the head of a pin.
"We have crossed the first hurdle of successfully integrating a photosynthetic protein molecular complex with a solid-state electronic device," MIT researcher Marc Baldo told Tech Talk.
Scientists have attempted to harness light before by combining biological and inert substances. But biological molecules need water and salt to survive, and both substances wreak havoc on electronics.
Initial tests showed that the rudimentary device could convert 12 percent of the light it absorbed into electricity, and researchers think they can increase that output to 20 percent by thickening the amount of biological material on the substrate.
MIT combines spinach and electronics to produce solar power