Tapping the Vein

Or: I, For One, Welcome Our New Vampiric Robot Overlords:

A Japanese research team has developed a fuel cell that runs on blood without using toxic substances, opening the way for use in artificial hearts and other organs.

The biological fuel cell uses glucose, a sugar in blood, with a non-toxic substance used to draw electrons from glucose, said the team led by Matsuhiko Nishizawa, bio-engineering professor at the graduate school of state-run Tohoku University.

"Since the electron mediator is based on Vitamin K3, which exists in human bodies, it excels in safety and could in the future generate power from blood as an implant-type fuel cell," the group said in a statement.

Most other bio-fuel cells under study use a metal complex, spawning concern about harm if used for implants.

The newly developed cell in the size of a tiny coin is able to generate 0.2 milliwatts of electricity, enough to power a device that measures blood sugar level and transmits data elsewhere, the group said. - Sapa-AFP

What they don't mention are the possible weight-loss advantages to this: you could burn calories just by opening a vein into your laptop! In the future, gadget-geeks will look like withered junkies instead of lardasses!

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7 Responses:

  1. ctudball says:

    I know there is something wrong with me when I think this is a really good idea.

  2. jonabbey says:

    As a type 1 diabetic, this sounds like a tremendous advance. I've been waiting years for someone to come up with a continuous loop blood glucose meter. Combine this thing with an insulin pump, and suddenly you've got a technological cure both for diabetes and the shameful lack of cyborgs in our country.

    • evan says:

      i had a vietnamese friend in college whose english wasn't very good and who had a large metal box in his chest in the vicinity of his heart. i called him a 'cyborg' once and he looked it up and (i think) came back super-pleased about it.

    • kirinqueen says:

      I was thinking the same thing, also being a type 1. Looks good, tell me more, science!