Bio-electricity? Electric eel genome project

img_0056.jpgI’m working hard on my carbon footprint. In fact, this week I got my first solar panel for solar hot water! Woot! You know how when you are thinking a lot about a topic, and then some other information comes along in another part of your brain, but you don’t connect them…and then when you go to sleep something really odd happens?

I had a dream about my solar hot water tank being full of electric eels. I assume this came from reading about this project proposal: Scientists Push for Electric Eel Genome Research

Electric eels, Electrophorus electricus, can generate bioelectricity from chemical food energy using specialized electric organs. These contain electrically-charged cells that, in turn, house precisely regulated ion channels and receptors. Together, this system lets electric eels generate electrical pulses ranging from weak, millivolt discharges to strong zaps up to 600 volts….[snip]

And understanding these cells, the group said, may lead to the development of new technology such as biobatteries or even bioreporters that label cells with electricity rather than the light emission of reporter…

How cool is that? And when you are done with them maybe you can have some eel au vin? Can you do that with natural gas–I think not….

Here’s the abstract, but I’m afraid I don’t have a subscription to the Journal of Fish Biology, so I haven’t read the paper: The case for sequencing the genome of the electric eel Electrophorus electricus

And yes, I’m being snarky, I know: it is the proteins and pathways they are after, they are unlikely to put eels in your water tank. But it was working fine in my dream.

2 thoughts on “Bio-electricity? Electric eel genome project

  1. thuto

    I would like it if you would give me information on the electric eel and if you could give a tissue sample of it’s electric muscle to 1 ryde garden 20 avenue road ,south arfica,durban,4oo1

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