Scientists are using a micro-organism to develop powered garments that would allow soldiers to carry less.

One of the most intriguing presentations at this year’s National Meeting of the American Chemical Society was the idea of using a virus to develop hi-tech batteries that could be woven into clothing. The M13 bacteriophage is harmless to humans and can be engineered as a bio-template to produce lithium ion batteries which could be made into clothing like military uniforms to power several portable devices such as smart phones, GPS units and handheld radios.

Mark Allen of  MIT, who is developing the technology, says that these batteries would generate less heat than conventional lithium-ion batteries, and would allow soldiers, who have to carry several heavy batteries, shed some weight.

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