Cyborg Snail Batteries

11 Jul

In Dresden Codak the protagonist, Kim Ross, is a cyborg scientist who designed and wears her own protheses. An attack from time colonists (don’t ask) left her sans left arm, both legs, and one eyeball. And while her cyborg attachments don’t give her, say, superstrength, they work admirably. She doesn’t even seem to miss the original limbs. Part of this comfort may come from the fact that the prostheses are self-powered – they can flex, bend, and pull on their own. They don’t even need batteries, instead they run on her own internal blood sugar. Which apparently translates into pancakes.

This is a real thing.

At least, the blood sugar thing is.

Not the time colonists.

That’d be silly.

Evgeny Katz (and man, can you come up with a better scientist name than Evgeny Katz?) of Clarkston University just released a report on their cyborg snail batteries. They implanted biofuel cells into a living snail that are powered by free glucose, which the snail can regenerate simply through eating and resting.

I swear I’m not making this up.

Here. There’s a picture.

cyborg snail electricity biofuel

The snail, for it’s part, seems to be doing fine.

This opens up the possibility of attaching real electrical devices to living animals. This could either be used to help power new forms of prostheses or, possibly, military cyborg insects.

You can’t fake this stuff.

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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Medicine, Modernity


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