Virus Batteries and other links for 2019 week 52

Viruses breathe new life into batteries – Physics World

Better batteries through biology – YouTube

Biologically enhanced cathode design for improved capacity and cycle life for lithium-oxygen batteries – Nature Communications

About 10 years ago, this virus battery made some headlines. It didn’t die, the paper has been cited a hundred times in the intervening time. But it’s not something you’re going to find in your next cell phone or next year’s electric vehicle. So what would make this kind of battery so awesome, and why are viruses even relevant? It’s not the biological properties of the virus, it’s the chemical properties. It has the right surface to grow the Manganese oxide, and it has the right dimensions to make nanorods.

Synthesis of manganese oxide nanorods and its application for potassium ion sensing in water

Probably a chemical method could be developed to synthesize things with the right surface and dimensions in bulk. Non-templated growth is possible though I imagine it would be very hard to get the exact properties right.

Bacteriophage Production Models: An Overview

But if you did need to develop a ton of bacteriophage to use as a battery material, how would you do it? That reminds me of bacteriophage therapeutics. Medicine faces the same problem: how to grow a ton of phage without bacterial garbage contamination. A recent review talked about the production of phage. The biggest reactor they found was 8L (about 2 gallons).

20 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books From The 2010s That You Definitely Shouldn’t Miss

I have not read any except “Vicious,” which I liked. Good list. Favorite candidate to read next: Jo Walton’s Among Others.

Veritassium – How to Slow Aging (and even reverse it) – YouTube

This is exciting. Great summary of some of the current aging research and what it might mean.

Nature News & Comment on Twitter:

Protein-slaying drugs could be the next blockbuster therapies

I liked the comic at the start of this article – like a political comic but for SCIENCE. The article is about proteolysis-targeting chimeras, or PROTACs, that degrade specific proteins. They look like dumbbells. There’s a big push for PROTAC drug research. It was called a Gold Rush in 2015.

The dTAG system for immediate and target-specific protein degradation.

Here’s how the pro-tac system works in a lab model example. You have a small molecule that binds to TAG and Ubiquitin ligase (UL). TAG-protein will be degraded after it gets pulled together with UL. So the small molecule will cause TAG-protein to be selectively degraded. Now, use genetic engineering (with CRISPR) to add TAG to whatever protein you want to modulate.

Charmin’s Forever Roll is the best freestanding toilet roll holder / Boing Boing

This is such a good idea!

See the winners of the best optical illusion of the year contest / Boing Boing

These are great and worth checking out.

Professor Jeff Dahn – WIN Seminar Series – YouTube

Why do batteries die? Lithium-ion batteries fail because they have side reactions at high temperatures. It’s not about the number of cycles, it’s about the total time at a high temperature.

Ruben Dax – Moonday (Live Looping with ROLI BLOCKS) – YouTube

These tools look like a lot of fun. It’s ~$350 for the seaboard alone. The light blocks are additional. ZenAudio ALK software for live looping is ~$50. And, for me, I would need a few years of music lessons to use it. It’s great to watch, though.

Joe Decie on Twitter: