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.
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.