Monday, June 21, 2004

Lethargic? Need Energy?

So do cars, and here's an article on researchers looking for ways to convert glucose into energy (something I think my body is doing right now).

The article cites the difficulty of getting hydrogen for fuel cells because, as the social butterfly of the periodic table, it just isn't alone for very long - and getting that H can cause as much enviro-damage as just using gas in the first place.

But glucose, apparently, doesn't give up its energy so easily either.

The world is greedy with its energy - but that makes sense, people don't like to give up power - why should molecules?

And the technology could go other ways too:

Dr. Kravitz and fellow Sandia researchers are developing an array of tiny glass needles, as slim and sharp as a mosquito's proboscis, that could, for example, be imperceptibly "plugged in" to a soldier's arm and used to convert glucose from the human body into energy.

"Suppose you could make a patch that went on the arm and had little micro needles that didn't hurt," Dr. Kravitz said. "Now the soldier just needs to eat an Oreo cookie to keep his radio going."

I can't help but think if they perfect biomass engines then that oreo could literally power the whole army.

So something on your arm could suck that excess glucose out and turn it into useable energy? Crazy? Yeah - but the scientist says the research could not only solve the world's energy problems, but - since excess glucose is stored as fat in humans - it could also fix the obesity epidemic. Kind of makes you wonder if the slimmest folks out there will be the ones driving SUVs.

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