The microbes, called Geobacter metallireducens, were getting their electrons from organic compounds, and passing them onto iron oxides. In other words they were eating waste – including ethanol – and effectively “breathing” iron instead of oxygen.
f course, this is not breathing as we would recognise it. For one thing, bacteria do not have lungs. Instead, the bacteria pass their electrons to metal oxides that lie outside the cell.
They do this through special hair-like wires that protrude from the cell’s surface. These tiny wires act in much in the same way that copper wire does when it conducts electricity. They have been dubbed “microbial nanowires”. More.
If a life form could live on energy, could it live on information? If not, why not?
See also: Does nature just “naturally” produce life?
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