They work as an optical fiber.
They can carry the current over long distances, including under water — bacteria contain a conductive fiber-optic network which works the same as copper wiring, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the Telegraph.
A group of scientists from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Delft University of technology (Netherlands) and the University of Hasselt (Belgium) introduced a new design that uses a chain of bacteria of the genus Desulfobulbus, conducting electricity.
These bacteria-cables — microorganisms, consisting of thousands of cells. “Multicellular organisms was discovered just a few years ago, and we already knew they were doing something exceptional,” explains team leader Professor Philip Mesman.
“Detailed studies have shown that by using these organisms, the current can be conducted through the bottom of the sea. This feature would give the researchers a big advantage,” he added. Despite the common idea among scientists there was no direct evidence that bacteria are in fact conductive.
A new study by a multidisciplinary team of biologists, chemists and physicists now solves this problem. The scientists were able to remove bacterial thread made from hundreds of organisms and attach it to specific plant with tiny electrodes. “For the connection of bacteria it took a huge effort,” explains Professor Herre van der Zant, a physicist from Delft University of technology. “But when we were able to do it — saw that in this way it is possible to transmit a large amount of current”