A new gene that can make electricity?

Discovery would produce cheap power

Tech Culture

Trent Nguyen says he's sitting on one powerful gene.


The CEO of Genexinh says his company has discovered a gene that produces a protein that can split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The electron can subsequently be stripped from the hydrogen molecules--in other words, it's a gene that can make electricity with very little energy and expense.

One of the big knocks against using hydrogen as a fuel source is the cost and energy required to produce it. Using a protein as a catalyst and water as a feedstock for hydrogen would be a lot cheaper, Nguyen said. The company wants to develop a fuel cell that can power small electrical devices. But if it fails, Nguyan would still make a great Batman villain: Give him $1 billion dollars or he'll vaporize the water supply of Gotham.

(Photo: U.S. Geological Survey)

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