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A discovery by scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) could contribute to the development of systems that use domestic or agricultural waste to generate clean electricity.

Published today by the leading scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the researchers have demonstrated for the first time the mechanism by which some bacteria survive by ‘breathing rocks’.

The findings could be applied to help in the development of new microbe-based technologies such as fuel cells, or ‘bio-batteries’, powered by animal or human waste, and agents to clean up areas polluted by oil or uranium.

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