Technique identifies electricity-producing bacteria

Microbes screened with a new microfluidic process might be used in power generation or environmental cleanup.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
January 11, 2019

Living in extreme conditions requires creative adaptations. For certain species of bacteria that exist in oxygen-deprived environments, this means finding a way to breathe that doesn't involve oxygen. These hardy microbes, which can be found deep within mines, at the bottom of lakes, and even in the human gut, have evolved a unique form of breathing that involves excreting and pumping out electrons. In other words, these microbes can actually produce electricity.

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10 reasons to be optimistic in 2019


Rwanda is pioneering the regulation and use of drones - such as delivering blood

Photo: STEPHANIE AGLIETTI/AFP/Getty Images

Even the optimists among us would have to admit 2018 was a challenging year. The fractured world that became the focus of our 2018 Annual Meeting a year ago came under further pressure from populist rhetoric and rising nationalist agendas. At the same time, the urgent need for coordinated global action in areas such as climate change, inequality and the impact of automation on jobs became more intense.

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What is the Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal is an ambitious attempt to fight climate change, but is it destined to hit the political skids?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stops by the Sunrise Movement's sit-in protest at Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's office. Credit: Sunrise Movement / Twitter
  • Recent protests by the Sunrise Movement have taken the Green New Deal from forgotten policy to trending hashtag.
  • The Green New Deal aims to move the U.S. to 100% renewable energy within a decade.
  • Proponents also hope to catalyze a top-down restructuring of the U.S. economy and advance social justice issues.
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How the finance industry can save the world


Regenerative capitalism challenges the belief that business success and environmental concerns are inherently at odds.

For millennia, the finance industry has been a primary culprit in global warming. Now it's time for finance to right its wrongs and provide the solution.

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The suburbs are the spiritual home of overconsumption. But they also hold the key to a better future

Economic "degrowth" may be difficult to achieve, but a "prosperous descent" is possible.

Suburban affluence is the defining image of the good life under capitalism, commonly held up as a model to which all humanity should aspire.

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