Garbage in, Electrons Out? Thermophilic Bacteria Do Both

The electrical properties of certain bacteria have been studied for a long time. But now, it is believed the critters living and creating biofilm mats in certain Yellowstone thermal pools could be made to generate enough electricity to power small electronic devices. They could do this in some of the harshest environments on Earth, while gobbling PCBs and other environmental toxins for lunch.

It may read like science fiction but, down the road, we may be powering our phones and computers with these microscopic, pollutant-munching, electron-streaming microbes.