The power of tears could be shocking.
Tears are the stuff of power! Don’t believe me? Well, you’re going to have to take that up with the University of Limerick. They claim to have discovered a method of producing power by squeezing tears, of, and also egg whites. But really, how should we have led this news blurb, with electric-powered egg whites or electric-powered tears? I think we made the right decision, don’t you?
Date: October 2, 2017
Source: University of Limerick
Summary: A team of scientists has discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity. The researchers observed that crystals of lysozyme, a model protein that is abundant in egg whites of birds as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals can generate electricity when pressed.
The researchers from the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, observed that crystals of lysozyme, a model protein that is abundant in egg whites of birds as well as in the tears, saliva and milk of mammals can generate electricity when pressed. Their report is published today (October 2) in the journal, Applied Physics Letters.
The ability to generate electricity by applying pressure, known as direct piezoelectricity, is a property of materials such as quartz that can convert mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa. Such materials are used in a variety of applications ranging from resonators and vibrators in mobile phones to deep ocean sonars to ultrasound imaging. Bone, tendon and wood are long known to possess piezoelectricity.
“While piezoelectricity is used all around us, the capacity to generate electricity from this particular protein had not been explored. The extent of the piezoelectricity in lysozyme crystals is significant. It is of the same order of magnitude found in quartz. However, because it is a biological material, it is non toxic so could have many innovative applications such as electroactive, anti-microbial coatings for medical implants,” explained Aimee Stapleton, the lead author and an Irish Research Council EMBARK Postgraduate Fellow in the Department of Physics and Bernal Institute of UL.