Cow Brain Chemical Heads Into Battery, Solar Cells Materials

If we’re not careful, cows worldwide are going to take up arms against us. First someone comes up with a cow-powered treadmill that produces energy while poor ol’ Bessie runs her heart out for a treat she’ll never reach, and now, scientists are after their brains.

It may sound like the bizarre plot of a B-horror movie, but researchers at Stanford University “are exploring the idea that clathrin, a protein found in cow brains, can form nanostructured inorganic material for use in solar cells and batteries,” explains Inhabitat. The primary boon of clathrin — which is also available in every cell of the human body — is that it can be tweaked at room temperature and pressure. Contrarily, the synthetic material used in many forms of energy technology require harmful chemicals and high temperatures to form specific shapes.

diablo 2 cow level

Image via MMO Site

Clathrin-based structures are able to form a plethora of shapes such as barrels, tubes, and spheres, all of which can act as a skeleton for other molecules and atoms. When a material such as gold is added clathrin skeletons, catalysts and electrodes form that are capable of use in batteries, solar cells, and other technologies.

1 Comment

  • Reply May 2, 2010

    Franco Vitaliano

    Please note ExQor Technologies (Boston MA) has multiple issued patents on bio-engineered Clathrin, and more pending, that protect us for this and other applications of Clathrin protein, including Clathrin bio-nanolasers. E.g., in one issued patent 7,393,924 Vitaliano, et al. July 1, 2008, here are some of the claims directly relevant to the work at Stanford:

    6. An isolated bio-nanoparticle element according to claim 1, comprising one or more types of coatings on part or the entirety of cage and or one or all or a subset of cargo elements.

    16. An isolated bio-nanoparticle element according to claim 1, wherein cage produces ordered scaffolding, creating self-assembling multi-layer structures having one or more dimensions.

    This also appears in our issued patent’s text: “In one embodiment, one or more…elements are batteries or components for storing electronic charge.


    Franco Vitaliano
    President & CEO
    ExQor Technologies, Inc.
    Boston MA

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