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National Science Foundation

"The Shifting Plate Tectonics of Science," Text Slide 20 of 24

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Slide title: Bacteria: Tiny bio-electronic circuits

Slide Image: A still image from a video that depicts the capture, transport, and electrical detection of individual bacterial cells (dark lines) into a microelectrode gap. The image shows a pair of electrodes that look like arrows, separated by a small gap of approximately 3 microns. The bacteria, in effect, become "bio-junctions" and can be captured, interrogated and released at will. The use of living microbes in such a technology could form the basis for new ways of assembling nanodevices of all kinds. One potential application is as a real-time bio-sensor that could be used in public places to instantly detect and characterize the microbes that might be used in a bio-terror attack.

Credit: Joseph D. Beck, Lu Shang, Matthew S. Marcus, and Robert J. Hamers, Dept of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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