News Feature | Published:


Batteries not included What can't bacteria do?

Nature volume 441, pages 274277 (18 May 2006) | Download Citation


Among their many talents, bacteria are the world's best electrochemists, creating a life-powering flow of electrons in a startling range of conditions. In the first of two features, Nick Lane asks what limits, if any, constrain this ability. In the second, Charlotte Schubert meets the people trying to put this microbial ingenuity to practical use.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Z. Allg. Mikrobiol. 17, 491–493 (1977).

  2. 2.

    et al. Nature 400, 446–449 (1999).

  3. 3.

    et al. Nature 440, 918–921 (2006).

  4. 4.

    et al. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65, 5234–5241 (1999).

  5. 5.

    & J. Microbiol. Meth. 54, 239–247 (2003).

  6. 6.

    et al. Nature 362, 834–836 (1993).

Download references

Author information


  1. Nick Lane is a science writer based in London.

    • Nick Lane


  1. Search for Nick Lane in:

About this article

Publication history



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing