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Kidney Cells Make Implantable Power Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the black-market-batteries dept.

Power 88

Galactic_grub writes "New Scientist has an interesting round-up of patents related to green power technology. The ideas mentioned include an implantable power source made from stacks of kidney cells that could drive implanted devices like pacemakers, a chemical way to purifying hydrogen, a buckyball-based filter for methane fuel cells and an organism that turns grass cuttings (and other bio-waste) into ethanol."

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88 comments

first fart! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21644861)

sniff the stinky spot!

In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat ... (3, Insightful)

foobsr (693224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644865)

1. An apparatus comprising: at least one cell culture chamber wherein live neurons are maintained and grown; and a means for harnessing the thoughts and ideas generated by the live neurons, said means being connected with said neuron culture chamber.

Recalling a time when a working example of the device to be patented had to be presented.

CC.

In a subsequent patent, I claim... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21644945)

1. An apparatus comprising: at least one cell culture chamber wherein live neurons are maintained and grown; and a means for harnessing the thoughts and ideas generated by the live neurons, said means being connected with said neuron culture chamber, where said thoughts and ideas are used over the internet or in any electronical manner.

Re:In a subsequent patent, I claim... (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21650987)

Patent to be rejected on the fact that there are no ideas or thoughts on the internet, just mp3's, ranting, and porn.

Re:In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat . (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646401)

Especially one as dubiously useful as this.

He suggests that such biobatteries might be ideal for powering devices inserted in the body, such as insulin pumps or pacemakers.

So you're going to give up part of your kidney for a pacemaker or insulin pump? When they've already solved the rejection problems in far less invasive ways?

Wake me up when these devices are on the shelf. I'll be dead, but by then they should still be able to revive me.

Recalling a time when legislatore weren't for sale. When they start writing respectable laws, I'll respect the law. [slashdot.org]

-mcgrew

Re:In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat . (2, Insightful)

Demolition (713476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21649849)

So you're going to give up part of your kidney for a pacemaker or insulin pump? When they've already solved the rejection problems in far less invasive ways?

I'm not sure what a host's body rejecting an implantable device has to do with biobatteries. As you've said, rejection of the device can be deterred in other ways. It's more likely that biobatteries are being developed so that an otherwise-functional implantable device won't have to be replaced several times over a host's lifetime just because its batteries have been depleted.

That type of surgery is hard on a host. For example, for the last twenty years, my father has needed a pacemaker to regulate his bradycardia (extremely slow heartrate). In that time, he has undergone three pacemaker replacements, all due to depleted batteries. As he gets older, these procedures have taken an increasing toll on his health. One of these days, he will be deemed physically unable to recover from one of these procedures and, in essence, he'll only survive as long as his most recently-implanted pacemaker's batteries hold out.

So, I wouldn't say that biobatteries/biogenerators are "dubiously useful". As mentioned in the article, these batteries are self-sustaining and should endure for the host's lifetime. Personally, if Dr. Levinson can produce such a thing, then more power to him.

Re:In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat . (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655839)

I didn't see anything in the article to suggest that these would be permanent, either. And it seems that a technology that could convert the kinetic energy of the host's movement to electricity would be a better solution.

I hope my eye implant (see sig) doesn't break before I die!

Re:In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat . (1)

Demolition (713476) | more than 6 years ago | (#21665487)

I refer you to the line in the article [newscientist.com] that states:

"... if the monolayers are made from immortalised cell lines, the biobattery should live as long as the host."

If the biobattery will live as long as the host does, then that sounds fairly permanent.

Re:In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat . (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21672275)

Good point, thx

Re:In a related patent, I claim a brain in a vat . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21647667)

A working example such as, for example, a person?

Don't use them all together (2, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644923)

Green kidneys and stuffed to the eyeballs with grass mulch? No wonder this guy is sick and needs implants. He's lucky he's not dead yet.

Re:Don't use them all together (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645439)

No wonder this guy is sick and needs implants. He's lucky he's not dead yet.

Yes, but after he dies, he can be turned into ethanol, too! :D

Re:Don't use them all together (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#21648093)

Hmm. Maybe the Mad Max series was right..

Re:Don't use them all together (2, Funny)

qzjul (944600) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646371)

he's not dead yet.
He's getting better!

Re:Don't use them all together (1)

spazekaat (991287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646551)

Green kidneys and stuffed to the eyeballs with grass mulch? No wonder this guy is sick and needs implants. He's lucky he's not dead yet.


First step to Soylent Green!! YUMMMMM!!! ;-)

Proper Ethanol (5, Interesting)

Swordopolis (1159065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644959)

The faster we switch ethanol production over to cellulose, the better. It would mean that we're not cannibalizing our food supply to make it, and the cost wouldn't be tied to the rising price of corn.

Making our ethanol out of the leftover waste materials is probably the only way ethanol will ever take off in this country.

Re:Proper Ethanol (0, Offtopic)

Orleron (835910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645005)

Yeah, but then I can't get rich off of corn futures. WoOt!! No thanks! :)

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

lazy genes (741633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21649903)

Corn futures are very risky.I own stock in bfre up 4.85% today WoOt!!They produce fuel from land fill waste.

Re:Proper Ethanol (2, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645007)

I agree. I find it obscene that turning "food" into fuel is subsidised when there are starving people in the world.

Re:Proper Ethanol (-1, Flamebait)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645239)

I find it obscene that the starving people don't grow their own food. If they're so stupid they can't figure that out, saving them isn't really worth the trouble.

Sam knew [youtube.com] .

Re:Proper Ethanol (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645883)

Because God forbid you should have to take responsibility for your CO2 production helping cause climate change with much more frequent droughts and floods ruining crops. It's all attributable to foreign dictators and stupid peasants. Political instability due to greed over resource extraction to feed Western industry also has nothing to do with it.

I bet you vote libertarian.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1, Troll)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21648383)

These people have been starving since long before I was born, so no, I don't have to take responsibility for it.

The area they live in hasn't been arable since before the industrial revolution, so no, my society doesn't need to take responsibility for it.

The people who aren't feeding themselves either aren't capable, in which case they aren't viable people, or aren't willing, in which case they aren't viable people. The trash heap of history welcomes them.

Re:Proper Ethanol (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646711)

It's subsidising food which cause there to be starving people in the world.

 

Re:Proper Ethanol (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645919)

The faster we switch ethanol production over to cellulose, the better.
The US should switch to adipose for an almost limitless energy supply.
 

Yeah! (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645969)

The US should switch to adipose for an almost limitless energy supply.

I had this image of thousands of fat people on tread mills and exercise bikes with generators attached. Then I had an image of liposuction machines sucking fat out of people and sending it to machines to turn it into fuel. Then my imagination started getting weird.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646301)

I find that obscene because it's basically turning, "food" into, "fuel" in a far less efficient manner than corn-derived ethanol.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646763)

Is it really that inefficient? They've already consumed the food. So it's already gone, why not get back a little something extra depending on how much that costs of course.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646519)

It would mean that we're not cannibalizing our food supply to make it,

If corn were the most efficient way to produce ethanol then it wouldn't matter. Say for instance that hemp were legal, and it was more efficient (actually it is more efficient INMN, but bear with me here. Substitute whatever crop is MOST efficient if you care to research, which I don't).

The land now used for growing corn would be used for growing hemp. Whether that land is used for corn, hemp, or sawgrass it's land. It doesn't matter if the corn's turned to fuel or not grown at all, that's corn that's not going to feed any people or cattle.

The world produces sufficient quantities of food to keep everyone on earth well fed. Hunger is now a political problem, not a scientific or agricultural one. Hunger, like racism, is a tool of the rich.

-mcgrew [slashdot.org]

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

hickory-smoked (969938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21649151)

The land now used for growing corn would be used for growing hemp. Whether that land is used for corn, hemp, or sawgrass it's land. It doesn't matter if the corn's turned to fuel or not grown at all, that's corn that's not going to feed any people or cattle.

Incorrect assumption. Cellulose, in theory, can be grown on land unfit for corn or other food crops. It can also come from the waste products of other crops, like corn stalks and sawdust. Some of the grasses proposed for cellulose production have excellent carbon- and nitrogen-fixing properties, so they can be used in crop rotation to improve soil quality and promote sustainable farming.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21647317)

Making our ethanol out of the leftover waste materials is probably the only way ethanol will ever take off in this country.
Who needs ethanol when you can go directly to hydrogen, and not just from crops.
Microbes churn out hydrogen at record rate [nsf.gov]

Re:Proper Ethanol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21649067)

Or butanol, which burns in gasoline engines we have NOW

Without having to buy new cars, which also need a small gasoline tank because the engines don't work right until they're warm... IN BRAZIL.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21650517)

I wish ethanol would just go away.

Its a hydrocarbon, just like gasoline. That means when you burn it, ethanol still puts carbon into the atmosphere. Even worse, ethanol production and distribution haven't even gotten off the ground yet and its already screwing up the economy. Corn prices are sky-high on speculation so the livestock end of agriculture has to feed their cattle, pigs, etc. other expensive grains. This is driving the price of meat and dairy up. Farmers are switching their crops over to corn to take advantage of the profitable market, depleting the supply of other produce and further raising the prices. (Even you smug vegeterians lose out)

And, of course, the icing on the cake: we're already making deals to import ethanol from other countries so that we're still relying on foreign countries for our energy needs!

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

Swordopolis (1159065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21650897)

"Its a hydrocarbon, just like gasoline. That means when you burn it, ethanol still puts carbon into the atmosphere."

But less so than gasoline (by about 20% if I remember correctly).

"Corn prices are sky-high on speculation so the livestock end of agriculture has to feed their cattle, pigs, etc. other expensive grains."

But imagine if we could start making ethanol out of the corn stalks. Or grass clippings. Or wood shavings. Or most other forms of organic leftovers. Cellulose is the key: normally it just gets thrown out, but if we can reliably use it as an ethanol source then we don't have to use more edible biomasses.

"And, of course, the icing on the cake: we're already making deals to import ethanol from other countries so that we're still relying on foreign countries for our energy needs!"

Because everyone else has already figured out how to do ethanol better: sugar cane is the ingredient of choice, producing about a third more ethanol per unit mass. The future of ethanol in the US depends on getting away from corn.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 6 years ago | (#21667983)

It puts carbon into the atmosphere, but the carbon was removed from the atmosphere when the feedstock was grown, so there are no net carbon dioxide emissions.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

paleo2002 (1079697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21669811)

1) When plants die naturally, a significant proportion of their carbon goes into terrestrial carbon sinks instead of the atmosphere. Burning plant material releases stored carbon directly into the atmosphere.

2) As many on this board have already noted, the modern agricultural process produces a large amount of carbon so ethanol isn't going to be carbon neutral.

Re:Proper Ethanol (1)

gronofer (838299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21653935)

This doesn't encourage sustainable agriculture. How much ethanol will it take to produce the extra industrial fertilizers that are needed if "leftover waste materials" aren't recycled back into the soil?

I wonder... (0, Flamebait)

Orleron (835910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644961)

...Didn't Microsoft already patent kidney cells?

Re:I wonder... (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646581)

No, kidney cells were patented in 1874 by I.P. Freelie.

-mcgrew [slashdot.org]

Mississippi ALready did it (3, Funny)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644977)

an organism that turns grass cuttings (and other bio-waste) into ethanol."
So they invented moonshine producing rednecks?

Re:Mississippi ALready did it (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645543)

They actually have a Biowaste Generator plant near Neshoba County I think. The idea is that with all of the pine trees they are cutting down from commercial farms, they'll take the waste bark, etc., and use it in the generator. Not sure though, and I'm not gonna waste an hour looking for the reference.

Wow a remark that is actually kinda On topic.

Re:Mississippi ALready did it (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646709)

Moonshine is made of corn, not grass you dumb city slicker! Come out here to corn country and we'll show you some drinkin'! [slashdot.org] We used to have a festival here in Springfield called Lincolnfest, but the yuppies that ran things discontinued it when everybody started calling it "drinkin' fest")

CHORUS
Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, Make you want to holler hi-de-ho
Burns your tummy, don'tcha know. Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug.

Grape wine in a Mason jar, Homemade and brought to school
By a friend o' mine after class. Me and him and this other fool decide that we'll drink up what's left. Chug-a-lug, so we helped ourself. First time for everything Mm, my ears still ring

CHORUS

4-H and FFA on a field trip to the farm
Me 'n' a friend sneak off behind This big old barn
where we uncovered a covered-up moonshine still
And we thought we'd drink our fill
And I swallered it with a smile
BBBBBBBBBB I run ten mile

CHORUS

Jukebox 'n' sawdust floor, Sump'n' like I ain't never seen
And I'm just going on fifteen
But with the help of my finaglin' uncle I get snuck in
For my first taste of sin.
I said "Lemme have a big old sip"
OOOOOOOOH, I done a double back flip

CHORUS
-Roger Miller (He had more corn than one o' those millionaire farmers with the bigassed combine, monster truck and satellite dish that sucks on the government's teat)

Moonshine raw materials (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21649617)

Moonshine is made of corn ...

Commonly, but not necessarily.

I've read (in the Foxfire Books) about prohibition-era moonshiners using store-bought granulated sugar.

Any substance with a sweet percentage of sugar is subject to fermentation. I ain't never tried turnip whiskey, but hell, I don't see why it couldn't get a guy roaring drunk.

As for grass clippings, they're no damn good at all, far as I know -- practically no sugar content whatever. Might as well feed horses on the clippings, milk the mares, ferment the milk and distill the results (that's a Mongol thing, supposed to make a pretty good liquor).

-kgj

Yeah but... (2, Funny)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644981)

Do they run Linux?

Re:Yeah but... (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645115)

Do they run Linux?

No, they're BSD. Biochemical Signal Determination.

And you better hope they have no Open Sores.

Re:Yeah but... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646781)

And you better hope they have no Open Sores.

Hey, the girls I hang around with [slashdot.org] are clean! And some of them run Linux. And once I made a beowolf cluster of them when I needed some guy's ass kicked.

It's dangerous mixing nerds, hookers, and alcohol. Things explode.

-mcgrew

Re:Yeah but... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 6 years ago | (#21647979)

It's dangerous mixing nerds, hookers, and alcohol. Things explode.

Well, sadly, they did recently ... as this story [nwsource.com] about a pig farmer shows ...

Re:Yeah but... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21655155)

Meet my friend Mike [kuro5hin.org] . The link is to an old K5 story about a pig farmer (Mike), a nerd (me), a couple other rednecks, and explosives. No hookers in that one though.

Yes, but.... (2, Funny)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644985)

will the technologies be developed in time? Or will the fuel crisis win out and send humanity to the brink of doom?

Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion!

Oh great (4, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21644989)

One more reason for them to steal my kidneys if I ever go to Mexico.

Screw the fucktards with weak genes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645043)

The ideas mentioned include an implantable power source made from stacks of kidney cells that could drive implanted devices like pacemakers
Or better yet, just let the fucktards who fucking have heart trouble just fucking die. Their weak genes caused their problems such as eating too much fucking fat or smoking their fucking heads off. If it was a fucking heart defect from birth then they shouldn't have been fucking allowed to reproduce in the fucking first place.

So just let the fucktards with the fucking weak genes eat god-damned fucking shit and fucking die.
Another plus of that is there will be no fucking shitdot sheeple to fucking post anymore.

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR GODDAMNED MODPOINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!
BETTER THAN THAT GO SLIT YOUR FUCKING WRISTS GODDAMNED FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

Re:Screw the fucktards with weak genes (1)

Swordopolis (1159065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645073)

And the phrase "Anonymous Coward" takes on a whole new level of meaning.

Re:Screw the fucktards with weak genes (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645173)

Lets see what we can deduce about the poster above:

1. not fat, otherwise it would be a very hypocritical post
2. doesn't smoke, so same as #1
3. his parents didn't love him, otherwise he might be less of a dick
4. barely graduated from high school, otherwise he might have a larger vocabulary
5. must I list any more, its this kind of person who's the real "fucktarded" one... jeez i sound dumb just making fun of the use of that non-word

Re:Screw the fucktards with weak genes (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645287)

Hey, it's a real word if Fake Steve Jobs says so!!!

if only we could harness (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645219)

the vast raw power of irrationally ultranegative trolls

Re:if only we could harness (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645997)

the vast raw power of irrationally ultranegative trolls
Strap a heatpipe to their head & mouth, then use that to power a stirling engine?

It would also help society to quickly mark out the irrational trolls (as opposed to the rational ones).

Re:Screw the fucktards with weak genes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645663)

So just let the fucktards with the fucking weak genes eat god-damned fucking shit and fucking die...
Another plus of that is there will be no fucking shitdot sheeple to fucking post anymore.

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR GODDAMNED MODPOINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!


Translation: "People with medical problems are genetically inferior to members of the master race, like myself, so they should die out. But unfortunately this important fact will never be known, because the other slashdot users all have medical problems and don't want the Truth to be known!"

This troll seems to be new, so your trollfu has been rated on the following categories:
Batshit insanity: +10 trollfu points
Maximum moderation level: 0 (+0 trollfu)
Number of replies: 3 (+3 trollfu)
Number of non-anonymous replies: 1 (+5 trollfu)
Current moderation level: -1 (-1 trollfu)
Chance of post being mistaken for being "informative" or "insightful": none (-100 trollfu)

Final rating: -93
Comments: YUO TROLLING = AWFUL!

To improve your trollfu for next time, why not try disguising your post as a serious point about the healthcare industry? You can basically say the same things, but if you present your claims in the right way, you might trick someone into modding you up. The best trolls don't look like trolls. Try rereading some classics like ATTN: SWITCHEURS and see how they masquerade as real posts.

Summary: Fucktard

Re:Screw the fucktards with weak genes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21646229)

Hey Fucktard, you also forgot +500 for getting a coveted flamebait moderation by pissing the fucktarded shitdot sheeple off. It just proves how fucking right I am and how fucking stupid you fucktarded shitdot sheeple like you are. All you fucktarded shitdot sheeple need to find a fucking razor, run a fucking hot bath, and slit your fucking wrists fucktards.

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY!

Re:Screw the fucktards with weak genes (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646965)

Must... resist... must not... bite... this trolll [kuro5hin.org] ... OH FUCK IT!

By the time you die of a heart attack, you've either reproduced or you're not going to. Evolution is about fucking, you stupidly rediculous troll.

-mcgrew

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645087)

In Soviet Russia, hydrogen purifies you!

Tag: coppertop (2, Interesting)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645103)

Interesting, but this [lanl.gov] is worth far more badass points at the retirement community.

Matrix (4, Funny)

coppro (1143801) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645257)

  1. We are getting closer and closer to functional AI.
  2. Humans are a source of energy.
  3. I will enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson
Wait... that's not how it was supposed to happen!

Re:Matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645793)

mod this guy up and not with just the "funny" mod either, use underrated instead.

Re:Matrix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21647767)

No, you're right... it's supposed to be:

1. We are getting closer and closer to a functional AI.
2. Humans are a source of energy.
3. I will enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson.
4. ???
5. Profit!

Matrix 4 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645271)

Starring Keanu Reeves as the elite-hacker Kidneyo.

Re:Matrix 4 (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645371)

Maybe that's why the machines won't return his body?

Zero, not four (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21657535)

Starring Keanu Reeves as the elite-hacker Kidneyo.
You're thinking of 'Matrix Zero', the prequel which covers Neo's childhood.

Methanol not Methane! (4, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645359)

Just a note about the fullerene filters mentioned in the article, they do not filter methane they filter Methanol specifically they prevent Methanol from diffusing across the memebrane of the fuel cell thus decreasing the amount of Methanol that is wasted.

Re:Methanol not Methane! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21645773)

It's not about waste, but "short circuiting" the reaction. Each molecule that crosses the electrolyte will react without passing electrons through the circuit. Current electrolyte membranes are so porous to methanol that the circulating fuel is necessarily dilute - limiting potential output.

water necessary... (1)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645559)

I immediately perked up at the thought of powering my ICE vehicles with alcohol made from grass clippings... only I live in the Southeast, and we didn't get squat for rainfall this year, so there weren't that many grass clippings. Global warming might mean less rainfall in this region for years, so I'm thinking this isn't going to work out.

Re:water necessary... (3, Interesting)

ricree (969643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646081)

Sure, but in areas like that you're going to see a lot better returns on solar power than areas with high rainfall will. In that respect, this sort of technology will be a complement to solar power. In other words, areas with lots of rain and cloud cover will have more available biomass for fuel, whereas areas without the rainfall will see much more output from solar generators. Ideally, it should balance out, although in actual practice it will certainly be more messy than that.

Re:water necessary... (1)

Pingmaster (1049548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21647229)

Given the tremendous amount of grass clippings likely needed to make enough ethanol to run a car (if we're talking about using the car on a regular basis), and the frequency at which grass clippings can be 'harvested', odds are that you'd be able to make enough to run your lawn mower(s), and the equipment to convert the grass clippings to ethanol (assuming you want to produce ethanol from grass clippings using no external energy sources), with little ethanol to spare.

Duracell Green (4, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645585)

Duracell Green is people!

I can hear Charlton Heston yelling in my ears. (1)

ravensee (1174365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645651)

"Batteries is peeeeople!" Sush, Mr. Heston. That's old news. Time for soylent green snack cakes!

Please Please Please (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645677)

someone tell me that these will NOT be manufactured by Sony!

Exploding cellphones are only funny on "Will it blend" and MythBusters.

I have no way to describe what exploding implants would be like... but I can see a whole new level of airport security coming. The stunt with the shoes was .. well, odd. I don't know how the script will read for the terrorist who goes to the bathroom in first class and triggers his kidney?

oh, and the really really bad sequel to 'Snakes on a Plane' is obviously on the way...

Re:Please Please Please (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21647087)

someone tell me that these will NOT be manufactured by Sony!
Exploding cellphones are only funny on "Will it blend" and MythBusters


Sony - the only company that installs rootkits on its exploding batteries!

-mcgrew [slashdot.org]

6-pack battery? (1)

pcfubar (1201137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645939)

wonder if they could power an aritifical liver? then you'd have a reason for going for another six-pack.

Too late (1)

achenaar (934663) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645943)

Prior art. [lorebrandcomics.com]

Paying the Cost to be the Boss (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646041)

These are all interesting and valuable technologies for extracting and using energy. But of course they all consume some of the energy they help produce and deliver. Making that delivery system less efficient in order to use it at all.

But existing fuels have the same problem. Is there anywhere that shows how much energy is consumed by extracting petroleum from the ground, getting it to a ship or pipeline, refined into products, then across to where it's burned for power? How much gasoline is burned driving to a gas station to fill up? How about the energy required to build and maintain the infrastructure, or even explore for new fields? Some of these losses are small, but they all add up. How about for coal and natural gas?

Once we know the "energy budget" of each kind of energy system, we can actually make sensible choices. Gasoline has some of the highest energy density of any fuel, but its pollution has extremely high energy costs to recover from. Maybe some of these other systems are better net propositions. Or maybe they just look good on TV, until you see all the costs that actually goes into using them.

Energy Extraction Costs (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21649515)

Is there anywhere that shows how much energy is consumed by extracting petroleum from the ground, getting it to a ship or pipeline, refined into products, then across to where it's burned for power?

Damned good questions. Sorry I don't have answers -- other than the obvious generalization, "We used up the cheap and easy oil, now we're going after the expensive oil".

I do, however, recall reading somewhere on the web (sorry, can't find the link) that an estimated 70% of U.S. oil consumption goes to the military. If anyone can cite a source (for or against), I'd be very interested to read the figures.

-kgj

Re:Energy Extraction Costs (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#21651549)

I didn't even include in the energy budget the energy spent on war to keep those petrofuels flowing, which is a much smaller amount for the renewables that usually can be produced entirely inside the US. Which is an investment in the US that can be exported peacefully, rather than an investment in Arabs that requires perpetual global warfare.

I dunno what thought came to mind first... (1)

adamziegler (1082701) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646189)

I dunno what thought came to mind first... Mr. Fusion Or Soylent Green for cars.

"Mr. Fusion is PEOPLE!!! you damn DIRTY APES!!"

We're in trouble (1)

bornwaysouth (1138751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646325)

Those 4 pick-of-the-crop patents are no dawn of a new era stuff.

1. The kidney idea seems to be theoretical. As foobsr commented, not a working model.
2. The hydrogen pump is an absorber, so it gets clogged unlike thin platinum tubes.
3. Digesting in a bug soup is standard. One bug instead of many is no miracle.
4. Buckyballs seem to do no more than plug holes. Would any small rigid molecule work.

This seems to be university rubbish ideas. The patentees do not have to survive off their ideas, and probably are doing no more that having a patent on their CV to help with self promotion. The downside is that anyone who can make a related idea work now has them providing fuel to patent trolls.

In computing terms, the computer is to be run electricity from a bank of frog legs. The CPU degrades and the clock speed winds down. The software only runs one language, which is unproven but greatly hyped by the one person who has used it. Debugging is to be done by 1960's code, but the variables are to be given cool new millenium names.

I hope my old age doesn't depend on this level of practical technology .

1.)kidney + 2.)? + 3.)profit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21646365)

Dude, does this mean my kidneys will be able to take stuff from my bowels to damage my liver and brain?

(for those of you who dont follow check this shit out, heh)

step 1
you take your poo

step 2
put your poo thru your kidneys

step 3
kidneys turn biowaste into ethanol

step 4
bottle poo booze

step 5
???

step 6
profit!

Solyent Green (1)

mgrivich (1015787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646463)

There are numerous jokes about soylent green here. Unfortunately, most people do not realize how true these comments are. The article is short on details, but the kidney cells in question are probably Human Embryonic Kidney Cells, which were extracted from an aborted human fetus in the 70s, and then modified so that they would reproduce forever (immortalized). These cells are common in research. What many do not realize is that the arguments amount embryonic cell lines have actually been going on for a long time, even though now most arguments are about stem cells, rather than kidney cells.

ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21646555)

Fart in a jar, save Gas

What? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21646867)

You gotta be kidneying me...
Real, live Human Beans... Self-stocking power, self-stalking fart generators...

I know the "Bio Fuel Bug" guys. ^_^ (1)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21648075)

Two of the guys running SunEthanol (the Biofuel bug company mentioned in the article) are the owners of my company.

Boss hits slashdot, fun.

I found the magic combo! (1)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21648663)

If we combine this story with the load-balancing with your car story, we get...

...the power companies paying you to plug yourself in to the grid during peak usage hours! Now that's giving power to the people, baby!

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