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Viruses Tapped To Create Spray-On Batteries

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the viral-power dept.

Power 70

disco_tracy writes "Two different viruses have been used to create the cathode and anode for a lithium-ion battery. If research pans out, the parts could be grown in and harvested from tobacco plants and then woven into or sprayed onto clothing to power a wide range of electronic devices."

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For the military? (2, Funny)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377050)

Is that really such a good idea for the military? What if the enemy comes up with a vaccine?

Re:For the military? (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377062)

You mean like an antibatteryotic?

Re:For the military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33378422)

Antibiotics kill bacteria ... not viruses.

Re:For the military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33378852)

They also work as a placebo against a wide range of psychosomatic illnesses.

Re:For the military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33381722)

So?

you mean like sony batteries? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377130)

you mean like sony batteries?

Nah man (4, Funny)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377054)

The only reason tobacco is illegal is cause back in the early 21st century the battery industry stepped in to prevent competition. They ran smear campaigns to try to make tobacco use look immoral and -fffffffff- unhealthy.

Why must every technology always be for soldiers? (2, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377066)

Maybe I'd just like to be able to run my laptop off my...POWER TIE...badump TSSS

I'll be here all night!

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377102)

That is good to know at least we know where to avoid :P

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377110)

Because you'd just use it to look at porn.

The soldiers would look at porn, then get drunk, then fire off their...

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377114)

There's always more money in finding efficient ways to kill people than to find efficient ways to make everyone's lives better.

Luckily some of that stuff trickles down and we use it for the latter anyway.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377140)

Vibrating Bra and Panties!

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377296)

Vibrating Bra and Panties!

Those both seem to me as if they would be rather uncomfortable. But what do I know?

What has been your experience?

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377594)

citation please. I keep hearing that bandied about, but I'd like to see some evidence.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377786)

Read Malthus. Fewer people with the same resources, more resources per person. It may not be completely right, but it makes sense. It's understandable people think that way, although it'd probably be better if we figured out how to better manage and reuse the resources more often.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33378350)

Then read Julian Simon [juliansimon.com] for an interesting rebel view.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377838)

I agree with your post title. I used to be one of those soldiers, too. And I never got to benefit from much of the tech that was 'for me' in the end --- come to find out much of the spending is just a cash handout to Gov contractors that reinvest part of it to political campaigns... who knew? lol.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379828)

I worked (briefly) in military research. Back then, they considered 20 years to be a good length of time from original idea to battlefield deployment. The problem was that this applied universally. For a new design of jet engine, it made sense - you need a lot of testing to even get to the prototype stage, and then mass production takes even longer. Unfortunately, for integrated circuits, it's insane. It means that you had state of the art mechanical systems controlled by a Z80. You get the next-generation battlefield communication system that ends up having less bandwidth, less interference robustness, and worse encryption than cheap off-the-shelf solutions by the time that it's actually deployed.

Defence contractors are allowed to license a lot of their designs to third parties before they produce a shipping product for the military. Consumer products have much bigger economies of scale (because most people aren't soldiers) and can go through half a dozen incremental iterations by the time the military variant finally ships. The first consumer-grade version is often much worse than the military-spec version, but by the time the military version is released the consumer version often catches up. For other things, there is no real civilian market (one of the things I was looking at, for example, was the applicability of a number of head-up display technologies for gaming - mostly they were too bulky for civilian use and cheaper alternative already existed). This means that military tech ends up being a weird mix of stuff that's miles ahead of anything you can get elsewhere and stuff that is painfully obsolete, often in the same machine.

The adage about the military fighting the last war is doubly applicable when it comes to technology. Funding is given to projects that would produce something at the end that is useful now. Unfortunately, they produce something in twenty years time when, even if it is a great bit of tech, it is no longer useful to the military. Sometimes this stuff gets licensed for civilian use, but quite often it just gets ignored.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33382822)

I can see why your work was brief.

Off thr shefl solution almost never work under military conditions.
They have a goal to fill. You fill it and it serves it's purpose. The fact that ti isn't the latest chip does not matter.

Re:Why must every technology always be for soldier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33379040)

With a tie like that you will SMELL like you were "here" all night. And that "here" had a lot of smokers.

Early adopters (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379180)

Why must every technology always be for soldiers? Because who else would pay $500 for a hi-tech toilet seat.

And you should be glad of that. For instance, if it weren't for military [wikipedia.org] applications [wikipedia.org] civilian jet transport would have come much later than it did. The very first [wikipedia.org] jet plane designed primarily for civilian service was a failure suffering from severe design flaws.

If you are going to spend a shitload of money on the military, at least let them iron out the flaws in new technology.

dangerous (0, Troll)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377094)

I could see this being better for the environment by the fact that the batteries are grown (?) however doesn't batteries woven into clothing come with a risk of spontaneous combustion?

The article is very light on details. I'm wondering how they "spray" the batteries on...

Re:dangerous (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377146)

Probably just spray a patch of anode and a patch of cathode somewhere else and run some wires. It might be useful for charging very low power devices like aimpoint sights.

Re:dangerous (1)

Pyrus.mg (1152215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377176)

You bet they're dangerous! Just wait until they hook up the Red Wire and the NeoVirus learns Kung Fu.

Umm, what could possibly go wrong? (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379892)

There's a lot more to worry about here - viruses that produce electronic components? That grow in crops? What happens if these things get out and infect other plants? What happens when (not if) they mutate?

I hope this whole thing is thought all the way through before it goes to production. Although the chances are this is pretty much pie in the sky anyway.

10 fold increase in capacity! (5, Insightful)

_avs_007 (459738) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377138)

I'm more excited about the 10 fold increase in capacity of this new silicon cathode than I am of the fact that it's sprayable, etc...

Re:10 fold increase in capacity! (3, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377330)

The silicon-based lithium ion battery anode showed a nearly 10-fold increase in capacity over existing graphite anodes, said Culver.

Capacity of what? So vague. Does this translate to batteries having 1000% of the present capabilities? Per what? cm2? oz? what kind of units are we talking here? Or are we just looking at the numbers game?

Re:10 fold increase in capacity! (1)

harley78 (746436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378514)

Doesn't say, can't find a paper. Like usual, horrible reporting.

Re:10 fold increase in capacity! (2, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33380900)

They can absorb up to 1000% more venture capitol before vanishing in an explosion that echoes away thusly "SUCKA.. sucka... sucka..."

that's because of you ar not qulified be dumb (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377148)

are you paying enaugh for a government ? Not. You are not enugh qualified.

No video? (3, Funny)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377190)

It's a pity that there's no video of the process... then it could go *viral*.

Re: XKCD from the other story (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379234)

Someone misposted the Obligatory XKCD in the other story when it belongs in this one!

http://xkcd.com/350/ [xkcd.com]

This could never end badly... (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377222)

How many movies predict mass deaths from some virus gone rogue? I'm sure these viri are safe now, but later?

Re:This could never end badly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33378432)

Probably safe later too.
Mutations happens all the time and is generally nothing to be worried about. As for movies track record of plausible science.. well.. From what I have seen about movies and science and they way they depict viral mutations I would guess that in real life viral mutations cannot happen and if it does anyway it will just lead to pink bunnies.
 

This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377234)

Sales of marital aids have suddenly dropped, while sales of the new "spray-on battery powered women's underwear" have jumped to a new high.

Really? (2, Insightful)

epp_b (944299) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377384)

Wow, what could possibly go wrong?

Re: Really? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33378438)

Wow, what could possibly go wrong?

From the article (if you were wondering): "The MIT and Maryland scientists used two viruses that are harmless to humans."

Ok... (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 4 years ago | (#33387888)

Are they harmless to other plants? Will they continue to be harmless when they mutate? Not to be Chicken Little here, but I hope they've thought this through.

Clothing? (1, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377412)

Clothing? CLOTHING?

How about putting a whole bunch of them in a box. Then put this box in a car. Hook up electric motor in car to box.

Maybe? Please? Fucking marketing dweebs.

Re:Clothing? (1, Redundant)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379252)

Seriously? Flamebait?

A ten-fold increase in efficiency, and all they can think of for applications is clothing? A ten-fold increase in automotive battery efficiency would push electric cars into the realm of "practical-for-everyday-use-and-beyond". A shirt that might hold a few phonecalls worth of juice, that might not even survive a wash cycle? C'mon people, what ever happened to priorities?

Sounds like someone didn't like their article getting nit-picked.

Re:Clothing? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379792)

Seriously? Flamebait?

A ten-fold increase in efficiency, and all they can think of for applications is clothing?

Lightweight power cells are something the military has wanted for a long time. The less weight a soldier has to carry, the better. And they mention powering UAVs with this technology as well; a civilian application can't be far behind.

As for making an electric car practical, it needs to be affordable too. If this technology doesn't drop the price of an electric car, many people won't be able to afford one regardless of how practical it is.

Can't solve range anxiety with more range. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33380100)

A ten-fold increase in efficiency, and all they can think of for applications is clothing? A ten-fold increase in automotive battery efficiency would push electric cars into the realm of "practical-for-everyday-use-and-beyond".

I don't think adding more range to electric cars is going to solve people's range anxiety. I was speaking with a guy who lives on a tiny island about electric cars, he said he wouldn't buy one, because what do you do if you run out of charge? Call a tow truck? I pointed out that he could drive across the entire island over 10 times on a single charge and that it would fully recharge overnight, so if he only sleeps at home once a week he'll still never run out of charge. But no, it's still too risky he says. So it seems that range anxiety may have little to do with range and a lot to do with anxiety.

I'd like someone in the US to find a person with range anxiety and ask them if they'd buy an electric car if it could drive across their state 10 times on a single charge and could recharge fully overnight. If they say no, ask if they'd buy one that could drive from New York to LA 10 times on a single charge.

Re:Can't solve range anxiety with more range. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33380222)

ask them if they'd buy an electric car if it could drive across their state 10 times on a single charge

I live in New Castle county, Delaware. It's only 12 miles from New Jersey to Maryland. So, I'd have to answer "no".

Re:Can't solve range anxiety with more range. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#33381150)

I think describing "making up pathetically unconvincing excuses because you don't want to alter your lifestyle by a fraction even hough it's self-evident it will be better for the environment in the long term" as "range anxiety" is to dignify it too much.

Re:Clothing? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33382856)

how is that better then powering it with you pant's when you sit in the car?

Seriously, it would imply that we are talking low power. Enough to charge a smart phone.

Queue (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377550)

the hot truckstop girl on girl jokes..

I can hear the commander now.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33377610)

Alright men, this is what you've trained for .... chaaarrrgeee!!

Laundry? (3, Interesting)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377670)

What happens when you do laundry?

Then the question is finally answered: (4, Funny)

Two99Point80 (542678) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378860)

"Who wears short shorts?"

Re:Then the question is finally answered: (1)

Primitive Pete (1703346) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379730)

Also, the implications of 'hot pants' are not so positive....

Re:Laundry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33379866)

Brings new meaning to the term "smoking jacket"!!

Or, the battery is "smoked"....

Or the battery went up in "smoke"....

Oh, and does this mean that our electronics will now get cancer from the use of "tobacco products"???

Play-by-Play (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377864)

Yeah, but that black mana isn't going to do them much good even after they've got spray-on batteries on the field. I'll just use my Greater Sony Instant and completely disrupt the combo.

great idea (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#33377884)

Wow, I can just see how easy it would be to market a spray-on tobbacco battery. I mean it only has two historically epic "toxin" connotations to it (tobbacco and spraying chemicals on yourself) and just sounds horribly dangerous. Did anyone even study what happens when you constantly pass current through material that close to your nervous system like with these amazing new battery clothes? Why do I even want a battery that's thin and has a large surface area? I distinctly remember asking for a small, light, high capacity battery. This has dumb written all over it.

Re:great idea (1)

harley78 (746436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378524)

Just call it TMV then?

Flamers (2, Funny)

neonv (803374) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378006)

Not only does the Dell computer burst into flames, BUT SO DOES THE USER!!! I know some politicians to send these clothes to ...

I want my batteries to be nicotine free (1)

PDX (412820) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378156)

I want my batteries nicotine free to avoid supporting the tobacco lobby.

Re:I want my batteries to be nicotine free (1)

davidla (875720) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379662)

And I want my nicotine battery-free to avoid supporting the battery lobby.

Re:I want my batteries to be nicotine free (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33380176)

Hey what if these batteries became so popular that they caused tobacco supplies to dwindle? Cigarette prices would skyrocket ($20 per cell phone battery is acceptable, $7 per cigarette not so much), nicotine addicts would have to grow their own...maybe once the media gets a good view of how powerful nicotine addiction is, people would start to think about which drugs should and shouldn't be illegal.

Purity Problems (2, Interesting)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378310)

This idea has an issue: purity. Lithium ion batteries require high purity, as far as I know, less than parts per million impurity content. With most lithium-ions, the case prevents the diffusion of crap (like water) into the battery. When the crud makes it through, the battery quits. With this system, there's no casing, and thus nothing to stop crap from getting in. I wonder how stable it will be with respect to soda spills, sweat, etc. on the clothing?

Also, how are you going to wire up the battery? What decides which is the anode and which is the cathode?

Re:Purity Problems (1)

harley78 (746436) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378536)

So what you're saying is you found the (real) paper? Please share???

Re:Purity Problems (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#33380762)

You're right Monica Lewinsky could have been electrocuted.

Needs Beer (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#33378566)

Batteries made of disease and tobacco?

You only need to add alcohol to have a trifecta of sins. The power I imagine comes straight from the Devil?

Re:Needs Beer (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 4 years ago | (#33380214)

Sure yeah they could make hybrid fuel cell batteries to take advantage of some alcohol too. And then they could be built by Siemens and put into Apple devices. The strange red glow coming from the battery could provide some cool case lighting. You'd just need to add some kind of transparent sound insulation to muffle the howls of the damned.

Re:Needs Beer (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#33380748)

But where are the hookers and blackjack?

You NEED to buy hookers, loser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33390728)

We all know you're a noob though, based on your shabby performance here all week noted next:

Clone got pwned? 3x in the same day here??

http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1764066&cid=33378014

(Where proof exists that clone53421 doesn't know how to program properly to save his life, and, that he is a "batch boy" at best/most, and not a coder in languages like C/C++, Delphi, VB, or any other truly widely used language in industry/professionally for decades now since he cited what a batchfile tech might in %ProgramFiles% and not the API calls necessary to use environment variables in say, C or C++)

In the url above, clone53421 additionally tried the old troll's "partial quote only" trick where the ac opponent he had had noted C and C++ also, where clone53421 omitted his opponent's mention of C/C++, and his ac opponent also showed that Delphi was proven faster than MSVC++ and VB by far in math and strings also in a publication that's about VB no less, and in math and strings work, which every program does by the way, where clone53421 tried to put that language down.

(Hilarious, and clone53421 also tried to fool everyone, by replying as an ac no less on his part rather than under his registered luser account here, like that fooled anybody as well (not))

&

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1755714&cid=33378404 and http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1755714&cid=33353946

(On HOSTS files vs. Adblock, where clone53421 had to go so far off topic it was amazing, and he would do anything to avoid the points posted in favor of HOSTS files vs. adblock (where once again, he cannot, and it is also where clone53421 also tried tdo fool everyone, by replying as an ac yet again as he did in the url above also, no less, once more on his part rather than under his registered luser account here... once more, like that fooled anybody (not)))

Clone53421 was "pwned" soundly on technical matters, and he also laughingly later had resorted to trying to "hide" his errors first by posting off topic to each in reply as anonymous coward also, doubtless in some PUNY attempt to defend himself and FAILING hugely in both links above!

(LMAO: Clone53421 also later yesterday did tons of posts so others would not see his huge mistakes in those urls above via his post history in some attempt on his part to "bury his blunders" in BOTH urls above, & under the tide of the rest of his bullshit and mistakes yesterday (utterly hilarious)).

Poor performance clone (no small wonder you GOT OWNED, lol, and 2 times in a row yesterday by the same ac no less).

FOR MORE AMUSEMENT ON THIS NOTE? SEE CLONE'S "FOAMING AT THE MOUTH REACTION" TO THE ABOVE FROM THIS URL BELOW NEXT, IT'S HILARIOUS, because he gives away the fact he KNOWS he is a noob and he knows we all know it now too:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1764066&threshold=-1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&pid=33354120

"You’re a moron. " - by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, @03:03PM (#33384252)

LOL, name calling the "best you got", there, 'batchfile boy'? Apparently so: Well, hate to clue you into this, but "new NEWS":

Your ad hominem attacks and foaming at the mouth profane name tossing reactions only shows your "tell" and that you are upset at yourself mainly, not I, because you exposed yourself as a complete noob in coding because you didn't post that you have to use API calls to get to environment variables in languages like C/C++, VB, and Delphi. Additionally, on HOSTS files, you were caught totally speechless and you were unable to disprove the 10 points in favor of HOSTS files vs. Adblock or DNS servers also.

Funny how you also only used a partial quote of my words also when you only noted Delphi and VB, when I also posted C/C++ (I code fluently in over 12 languages since 1982).

By the way/again: On Delphi? It knocked the crap out of MSVC++ in both math and strings speed as far back as 1997 and in VBPJ magazine no less, and still can today (D7 & below).

So much for your "know-how" because you're only showing us it's non-existent or noob/rookie level.

Posting as AC now too? LOL, who are you trying to fool here, noob?? It's not working. You've also admitted to your std. "modus operandi" of trolling others via ac replies on your part - you have been exposed now and we ALL see you for who you are troll.

Re:You NEED to buy hookers, loser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33391026)

Mmm, delicious copypasta.

Re:Needs Beer (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#33381970)

This is what will power the WereCar. which would make it " the most evil propulsion system ever conceived!"

bs (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 4 years ago | (#33379384)

MIT have been spouting this virus based litihium battery bs for years. ill believe it when i can buy it in the shop.

Possibility... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33380722)

Li-Ion batteries in clothing? Oh, the possibility...

- Liar, liar, pants on fire!
- Is that a battery in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
- Leg-warmers are back in style.
- Electric underpants: Better than Ben-Gay.

Continuation of this list is left as an exercise for the readers.

New Virus Overlords (1)

kraln (1477093) | more than 4 years ago | (#33381440)

I for one welcome our new overcharged virus overlords.
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