Shewanella oneidensis bacterium can “breathe” rock

Thanks Ideas & Discoveries Magazine for this:

Reality is indeed stranger than fiction, folks! And no, this ain’t Chloe the Crackhead who lives down the block next to Scooter and Beaker.

The Shewanella oneidensis bacterium can draw “life force” from rock with the help of an electrochemical process that researchers have described as “breathing,” which allows it to live in environments where oxygen is not present.

To do this, it uses a cytochrome protein to isolate electrons from mineral substances, thus generating energy for metabolic processes.

The bacterium has the ability to alter the oxidation state of metals and metabolize heavy metals, and these properties show promise for applications such as wastewater treatment and biosynthesizing nanomaterials.

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