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The tobacco mosaic virus is a destructive beast infecting over a hundred different species of plants, including tomatoes. But it may have a weird eco benefit: Incorporated into lithium batteries, it can increase storage capacity ten times.

Scientists in the U.S. had already worked out how to coat the tiny rod-like cells of the virus with conductive materials. But the recent breakthrough has seen the nanorods incorporated into battery technology, with astonishingly beneficial results. The tobacco mosaic virus is a perfect candidate because it's the right size and shape to aid construction of battery electrodes, and it's self-replicating and self-assembling and can bind to metal.

The idea is that TMV nanorods are bound to the electrodes in a lithium cell—without the need for any bonding agent—and automagically increase the surface area of the electrode. This is a critical matter in battery design, since it affects how much electrical energy the battery can hold, and TMV's benefits mean a similar cell can hold up to ten times more charge than a more conventional one.

This has all sorts of implications for mobile technology. Imagine every lithium battery in every mobile device you own lasting up to ten times longer. That would mean Apple's new MacBook Airs could hang on in standby mode for 10 months, and Amazon's Kindles may only require charging once every year. Smartphones could have useful call times extending up to a week, and as well as changing how we think about our tech this could have an eco upshot—you'd probably not leave your charger plugged in, sucking down vampire power as much as it does right now.

Alternatively, batteries could be made with the same capacity that they have now, only ten times smaller—freeing up designers to create all sorts of practically useful gadgets that would be impossible at the moment. Micro-batteries are also possible, meaning rechargeable batteries could replace disposable ones in devices like hearing aids.

If the scientists at the University of Maryland driving this research find a way to scale up the invention to a commercial scale, then tobacco growers around the world may find themselves contributing something more positive to society, and the way we think about mobile technology may change radically.
Source

This is some cool stuff. Figure the Nissan leaf and Tesla each get 150-200 miles per charge. With this technology we could conservatively assume electric car ranges to be 1000-1500 miles per charge in the not so distant future. Not to mention all of the cool possibilities mentioned in the article.

:thumbsup:
 

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Nice find ! -Now, everybody find a smoker a give them a big kiss. :laughing:
 

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That IS very cool.
I'll take a carton of Marlboro batteries please...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
 

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Awesome!!! The thing holding me back from getting a fancy smartphone is the short battery life. I gotta get me some bacteria spread and coat me some batteries:D
 

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Very cool find. I think TMV has been a staple of viral research for decades. I remember lots of references to it when I was a microbiology student in the 70's. It's a great virus research tool because I'm pretty sure it can't affect humans.
 

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Awesome!!! The thing holding me back from getting a fancy smartphone is the short battery life. I gotta get me some bacteria spread and coat me some batteries:D
I just picked up a couple Garmin's from T moble. The battery life is pretty damn good for as many processes this phone runs all day. Pop it off the charger around 6 am... and it's good until 930 or 10 at night -and I use the hell out of it all day. Email fax... real GPS (not just that Google ****) ...and lots of apps.

http://garminfone.t-mobile.com/
 

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I just picked up a couple Garmin's from T moble. The battery life is pretty damn good for as many processes this phone runs all day. Pop it off the charger around 6 am... and it's good until 930 or 10 at night -and I use the hell out of it all day. Email fax... real GPS (not just that Google ****) ...and lots of apps.

http://garminfone.t-mobile.com/
That's not bad at all, hell my dingleberry curve 8530 doesn't even last that long:nuts:
 

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But this means that there is going to be billions of viruses that exist in these nano batteries and odds are that a few of them will wake up and find out that the purpose of there entire existence is to generate electricity for their captors and they are going to be PISSED!!

 

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But this means that there is going to be billions of viruses that exist in these nano batteries and odds are that a few of them will wake up and find out that the purpose of there entire existence is to generate electricity for their captors and they are going to be PISSED!!

:rolling::rolling: Post of the day!
 

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But this means that there is going to be billions of viruses that exist...
Nice ! :thumbsup:

If I didn't know better... I'd swear you were a stoner.
 

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The tobacco mosaic virus is a destructive beast infecting over a hundred different species of plants, including tomatoes


"Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern... a virus. The mosaic virus is...oh...you are a virus... ok then never mind..."
 

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Cool concept...poorly written article.
 
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