Humans aren’t the only ones who have harnessed the power of . Some do this, too, by producing structures that extend from their surface like wires to transfer electrons over distances. Now, scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley are exploring this phenomenon to see if they can make use of these special microbes, called Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, to perform essential functions on future space missions — from generating electricity to treating wastewater or producing medicines.

Video credit: NASA/Ames Research Center

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