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Bacteria make nano magnets to navigate oceans

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posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 12:07 AM
The discovery of genes for magnetism in some bacteria could lead to synthetic nanomagnets and better MRI scanners. The bacteria is oriented like a compass needle inside the magnetic field and the bacteria use it to align themselves with the earth's magnetic field. The magnets help the bacteria to sense the earth's magentic field and then navigate the oceans.

A study by scientists in the UK and France has shown it is possible to fine tune the magnetic properties of tiny "nano" magnets made by bacteria, and this technology could one day be developed to target cancer tumours.

Some bacteria have the ability to digest iron into tiny nanoparticles of magnetite (Fe3O4) that are enclosed in lipid vesicles or membranes. These "magnetosomes" as they are called, have considerable potential for medical use because of their greater biocompatibility and convenient narrow and uniform shape compared to manmade versions

Bacteria use them like tiny compasses to help them search for environments rich in oxygen.


Bacteria that can sense the earth's magnetic field

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 02:30 AM

Now lets see them use the magnetic bacteria to make super small electric generators.

Maybe bacteria filled batteries.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by ALLis0NE

Yeah that's what I was thinking. Except they might have limitations on the amount of charge they can hold. May end up being worthless as far as batteries go. However, often the simplest solutions are often the best ones. You never know. It may end up being the holy grail of alternative energy. Either way, I think it's a pretty good discovery.

The cancer idea is a good one also.

[edit on 13-8-2009 by DaMod]

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