What is a bacterium that can live by eating only electricity?

"Food" is indispensable with water, oxygen, etc. in order for living things to live, but microorganisms that can maintain life by "eating" electricity are discovered.

Meet the electric life forms that live on pure energy - New Scientist

Many creatures, not limited to humans, live while consuming food, water and oxygen. For example, sugar ingested as an energy source is chemically decomposed and extracts energy by reacting with oxygen, but this mechanism means "delivering electricity (electron) to oxygen." In other words, the act of "eating" is on the wayAdenosine triphosphate (ATP)It takes the form of mediating energy storage materials to release energy, but in the end it is also an act of "delivering electrons".

In general, most organisms deliver electrons by eating food, while a small portion of microorganisms (bacteria) can take out energy by directly delivering electrons and perform life activities I know. In other words, some bacteria can live "eating electricity".


This bacterium is called "Electric bacteria" and it is known to exist in minerals around the world. Dr. Kenneth Nelson of the University of Southern California studies Electric bacteria and is one of the few researchers who succeeded in making Electric bacteria survive in a laboratory with refused food other than electricity.

Dr. Nelson said collecting Electric bacteria by slightly inserting electrodes into the mud brought back from the seabed and slightly increasing the voltage difference between the electrodes.

The state of Electric bacteria can be confirmed in the following movie.

Electric bacteria connect to form wires - YouTube

Something's preparation.

It seems that it is put in a thickness of 20 micrometer which is sandwiched between two ○ ○

○ on the top was oxygen, ○ was hydrogen sulfide.

When enlarging, innumerable bacteria are connected in a cable form so that electrons can be transmitted over a distance of several centimeters.

A rope-like shape entangles so as to capture food and oxygen.

Besides Dr. Nelson who discovers Electric bacteria, there are examples that Dr. Yamni Janger of the University of Southern California discovered from the well of Death Valley's Mojave Desert. Also, Mr. Annet · Row, the guidance of Dr. Nelson, said he plans to post a paper saying that at least eight kinds of bacteria that eat electricity are identified nearby.

Dr. Yuri Golby of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said, "Electric bacteria, which succeeded in growing electricity between two electrodes, can theoretically maintain life by continuing to flow electricity theoretically," I am thinking and studying the voltage change that can live forever.

Dr. Nelson says "Electric bacteria that live by eating electricity is like an alien from a different world, and the existence of Electric Bacteria teaches us that there is a world we do not know at all" I am talking.

in Creature,   Video, Posted by darkhorse_log