New Life Discovered that Lives Off Electricity
In 2013 a researcher at USC Annette Rowe found “electricity eating microbes”lurking in iron rich sediments of Catalina Island in California.
Electrodes placed into the water sample excites the strange microbes into an electron consuming state called direct electron transfer. The tiny sources of life actually eat metal and electricity to sustain themselves and exist in both the sea and land, sometimes at extravagant depths. While the creatures exist in nature the concept of growing them in a laboratory is changeling at this time.
It is difficult to understand how a life form can live on the consumption of energy but the biological function of electrons to the existence of life is essential. All forms of life use electrons as a source of energy. Electrical patterns guide our brain and body functions as an example. A fundamental relationship of using electrical patterns to control our bodies appears vastly different than using electrons for food!
Scientists have found Electrical bacteria are obtained from rocks and metal. Two forms are known to exist, Shewanella and Geobacter. Both bacterium can reduce dangerous heavy metal ions with or surprisingly without the presence of oxygen, a key ingredient for life. The microbes have the ability to transfer electrons down their length possibly by the use of nanowires. The benefits of such could be the cleanup of atomic wastes or the creation of electricity from hydrogen and carbon depending on the application. The cell membranes become electrical bridges to accomplish this.
The presence of microbes that consume and transfer electricity may play a major role on how we visualize life in the universe. The planet Mars appears to be a dry world on the surface but under its surface proper conditions may exist that can harbor extraterrestrial life based on recent bio-electron discoveries.