Virus Could Make Batteries Last 10 Times Longer

“Virus” and “tobacco” are not two words you usually think of in a positive light, but they could be the secret to making batteries last ten times as long.

Scientists have discovered that you can coat the virus rods with conductive materials and stuff them into a battery and make it work better. The rods bind to the electrodes and increase their surface area. With a bigger surface area, they hold more of an electrical charge, pumping up the battery life.

Perhaps a future where you only needed to charge a Kindle once a year could be not too far off.

How the Future of Big Tobacco Could Be Tiny Lithium Batteries [Fast Company]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Graymalkin56 says:

    …and this is how Skylab turns humans into Terminators. The machines win.

  2. Gravitational Eddy says:

    Perhaps we can get efficiency up to the point where we can convert radiation (as in freely emitted photons or electrons) into electricity.
    Fire up the lifetime charge Atomic battery.

  3. Red Cat Linux says:

    That’s a sci-fi movie in the making, right there. Somebody leaves the batteries in a neglected lead infused toy made in China, and then a year later the batteries rupture and a super-electro-virus is on the loose.

    Or it could be horror. I see the Chuckie franchise eatin this up with a spoon.

  4. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    Imagine if the viruses are like the Who’s in Whoville. Here we are electrocuting them to make our batteries last longer…they have feelings too you know. Even better, we make the viruses into super viruses by introducing them into the battery, and they escape from their battery…wipe out humanity just because we wanted longer lasting batteries.

  5. tedyc03 says:

    At some point we’ll harness biological forces to generate electricity! And then we’ll realize that human beings have electrical energy! And then…the Matrix happens.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      You bet your ass coppertop.

      • SonarTech52 says:

        Rofl, I can imagine we will start having some kids just as energy sources.

        “I plan on having 5 kids.” “two regulars, and three for power.”

        “Oh, I have 4.” “this is John, Janie, Duracell, and Energizer.”

        • wkm001 says:

          Having video games powered or turned on by a stationary bike scared the hell out of me as a kid. I was a fat kid. Now I ride a bike a few thousand miles a year for enjoyment. Not a big video game fan now either. Well, who doesn’t like Angry Birds. Thank goodness I beat that.

    • obits3 says:

      Hmm… sounds like a way to fix our prison system and the energy crisis at the same time.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      Was this before or after Graymalkin created a Skylab that humans into Terminators?

  6. wkm001 says:

    This just in….. Battery prices to increase 1000 percent!!!

  7. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Come on, I don’t want to be that guy, but no one has yet pointed out that virus != cell.

    • says:


    • dangermike says:

      Sure they are: C, D, AA, AAA, etc. (less than interesting tangent, 6V and 9V batteries truly are batteries but the cylindrical sizes such as those in my initial quip are actually single cells and not appropriately labeled as “batteries”)

  8. Saskiatas says:

    Sounds like someone randomly picked 3 words out of a dictionary and say ‘hey, let’s do a science experiment on them!’ Now they need to justify the grant expenses.

  9. Necoras says:

    Viruses aren’t cells. By definition they aren’t.

  10. gman863 says:

    Sounds like the Energizer Bunny tested positive at the free clinic.

  11. Coyoty says:

    This might make tobacco more profitable as a growth medium for the virus than as a growth medium for cancer.

  12. Kingeryck says:

    Now when I get a cold I can sneeze lightning.

  13. FreeShaggy says:

    Andddddd how did they figure this out?

    Some lab tech drop his AAA in a petri dish?

    Ah science. Where mistakes make more progress than work.

  14. SkreanAme says:

    Does anyone notice these breakthroughs are posted at a rate of about one a week, yet I still have to charge my phone daily?

    Also coffee is good/bad for you, wine cures/doesn’t cure cancer and one beer a day will keep you from heart disease (or won’t, depending on how you read the data).