A microbial protein fiber discovered by a Michigan State University scientist transports charges at rates high enough to be applied in manmade nanotechnologies. The high-speed protein fiber is produced by uranium-reducing Geobacter bacteria. The fibers are hair-like protein filaments called “pili” that have the unique property of transporting charges at speeds of 1 billion electrons per second. Since existing nanotechnologies incorporate exotic metals into their designs, the cost of organic nanowires is much more cost effective.
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