May 5, 2011

MIT Improves Solar Production with Genetically Modified Virus


As an environmentalist, I am pro solar power and anti genetically modified organisms. Researchers at MIT have combined these two contrary aspects. Ecofriend reports:
MIT researchers have found a way to improve the power conversion efficiency of solar cells. They have used a genetically engineered version of a virus called M13 to help improve one particular step in the process of converting sunlight to electricity.

A solar cell works like this - when sunlight falls on the light-harvesting material, electrons are released and harnessed to produce an electric current. According to the MIT research team, adding microscopic carbon nanotubes (hollow cylinders of pure carbon) can increase the efficiency of electron collection from a solar cell's surface.

I admittedly don't really understand the process; I just know when the sun is out my solar panels make power. Do I think we should be using genetically modified viruses to increase their power? Hell no! It scares me to think what the consequences could be.

Read More in: Alternative Energy

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at May 5, 2011 2:18 AM

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