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Volume 5 Issue 6, June 2020

Volume 5 Issue 6

Life supports hydrogen

Photosynthetic and catalytic machineries from living cells can be coupled to produce hydrogen outside the cell using solar energy, though the production is short-lived. Now, Appel et al. rewire cyanobacteria to fuse these machineries in the cell, allowing the cell’s maintenance and replication mechanisms to support lasting hydrogen production.

See Appel et al. and News and Views by Lenz

Image: Jolanda Zürcher Cover Design: Thomas Phillips

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Energy plays a central role in responding to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, from ensuring adequate healthcare services to supporting households during lockdowns. Protecting the renewable energy industry and its contribution to providing sustainable energy access for all must be an urgent priority in the current crisis.

    • Vanesa Castán Broto
    • Joshua Kirshner

Research Highlights

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Li4Ti5O12 is a commonly used negative electrode material, but the origin of its fast rate capability has puzzled scientists for decades. Now, a facile Li-ion transport route featuring metastable intermediates is revealed to rationalize the fast-charging kinetics.

    • Swapna Ganapathy
    • Marnix Wagemaker
  • News & Views |

    Light-driven production of hydrogen by coupling natural photosystems or photosensitizers with hydrogen-producing catalysts has been achieved in numerous in vitro systems. Now, a recombinant in vivo system is described that generates hydrogen using a hydrogenase enzyme directly coupled to a cyanobacterial photosystem.

    • Oliver Lenz
  • News & Views |

    Dye-sensitized solar cells are promising as power-generating solar windows yet their fixed transparency prevents control of indoor lighting and temperature. Researchers now present a device that dynamically self-adjusts its optical transmittance with sunlight intensity, opening up a way to energy-efficient self-powered building façades.

    • Ana Flavia Nogueira

Policy Brief

  • Policy Brief |

    While the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has been instrumental in increasing India’s liquefied petroleum gas adoption, sustained use depends on factors such as regularity of income and ease of access to free-of-cost biomass. To ensure sustained use after adoption, interventions in clean cooking energy must tie in with broader rural development.

    • Sunil Mani
    • Abhishek Jain
    • Carlos F. Gould


  • Review Article |

    Despite its prevalence, energy poverty is not formally recognized in the US as a problem distinct from general poverty. This Review of two federally-funded programs focused on reducing high energy bills highlights the limitations of this approach for effectively responding to energy poverty.

    • Dominic J. Bednar
    • Tony G. Reames



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