Friday, April 07, 2006

Virus-Assembled Batteries

Technology Review
"The researchers, in work reported online this week in Science, used M13 viruses to make the positive electrode of a lithium-ion battery, which they tested with a conventional negative electrode. The virus is made of proteins, most of which coil to form a long, thin cylinder. By adding sequences of nucleotides to the virus' DNA, the researchers directed these proteins to form with an additional amino acid that binds to cobalt ions. The viruses with these new proteins then coat themselves with cobalt ions in a solution, which eventually leads, after reactions with water, to cobalt oxide, an advanced battery material with much higher storage capacity than the carbon-based materials now used in lithium-ion batteries."