Electrical bacteria found in human intestines

The human digestive system and especially its intestines are often called a separate eco-system, which is a storehouse of knowledge for science. For example, recently at the University of Berkeley (California), several types of intestinal bacteria from the category of electrogens were discovered, which differ from the already known electrogens-probiotics and from pathogens.

Dan Portnov, one of the authors of the study, bluntly states that we grossly underestimated the effect of bacteria-electrogens on intestinal function. Their varieties, with the help of new research methods, unexpectedly turned out to be not just a lot, but extremely many. And as if to add work to scientists, the newly discovered species use completely different methods of generating electricity. If our body has adapted to use oxygen to remove excess electrons from cells, where they are a byproduct of metabolism, then anaerobic bacteria use manganese or iron for the same purpose.

Experimental battery

The last bacteria to be discovered generate an electric current when they eject electrons outward with the help of flavin molecules, and the process is so intense that the chains of electrons are converted into an electric current of up to 500 microamperes. Some bacteria have even evolved and received a single cell wall instead of a double one, so that the process is even easier and more efficient. It seems that for them this is a game - in such conditions, getting rid of electrons is definitely not a guarantee of survival, as for other bacteria.

In fact, scientists are not rushing to conclusions, research is in full swing. They hope that after a detailed study, we can learn how to manage new bacteria. And, perhaps, we will get a "living battery" or a super-effective medicine for intestinal disorders.