Oriental Hornet Capable of Converting Sun's Energy into Electric Power
January 7, 2011 6:50 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Sciencedaily.com/Wikimedia Commons)
Could lead to the development of better solar cells
Tel Aviv University
scientists have found that Oriental hornets have similar capabilities as plants when it comes to the process of photosynthesis.
Professor David Bergman, a physicist and professor at Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy, along with Professor Jacob Ishay, of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, and Professor Marian Plotkin, a doctoral candidate, have studied
the Oriental hornet
and found that certain parts of its body are capable of converting the sun's energy into electric power much like plants do during photosynthesis.
Entomologists have recorded similar results when studying Oriental wasps. They found that the wasps were more active during the afternoon when the sun was at its highest point rather than the early morning when the sun was just rising, or at night. The same results were recorded for hornets, who were digging more energetically when the sun was up.
Several years ago, Bergman and his team discovered that the Oriental hornet's exoskeleton, or outer body shell, was capable of
harvesting solar energy
. Since this discovery, the researchers have tried to imitate this process by studying all the elements that could affect how this occurs. Humidity, temperature, solar radiation and other weather-related conditions were studied, and the results showed that UVB radiation solely caused the change in the hornet's behavior. The hornet's body also contains a heat pump system that keeps it cool despite absorbing the suns energy.
In addition, the researchers found that the yellow and brown stripes on the Oriental hornet's abdomen specifically allow a photo-voltaic effect, absorbing radiation while the yellow pigment converts it into electric power. The brown shell is made from grooves that split the light into separate beams, and the yellow is made from "pinhole depressions" holding a pigment called xanthopterin.
Researchers have tried to
imitate this process
in the lab, but had poor results. They could not reach the same efficiency rates of energy collection as the Oriental hornets. But they plan to continue improving their methods to mimic this process in order to better understand it and possibly create better solar cells based on the findings.
"The interesting thing here is that a living biological creature does a thing like that," said Bergman. "The hornet may have discovered things that we do not yet know."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
1/10/2011 2:47:54 PM
No. Electrons do not travel through the membrane on a boat of hydrogen. Electrons are only used in the electron transport chain in redox reactions to PUMP hydrogen to one side of the membrane to make a gradient. It's the chemical power of the gradient which then literally turns the F0F1 ATPase like a turbine. Think of hydrogen like steam. This is a mechanical, not electrical, event.
Again, the electrons involved in the system are through redox reactions which triggers hydrogen pumping to make the disequilibrium. This is not electricity, this is not an electrical current, etc. Just like neurons do not actually send ELECTRICITY down axons, but instead ion equilibrium changes. Ions are "electrically charged" but it is not "electricity" by any means as we use for power (NO electron motion through a conductor, what so ever).
Gees, are people this science illiterate?
What this hornet is doing is completely different than photosynthesis. The pigment in the shell is acting as a conductor. Now, how the hornet uses this electricity in a biological way? I'm not sure, but it sounds like it's being used as a heat pump to keep the hornet cool during the day, allowing it to operate during noon time when other hornets can only operate at early morning and evening.
"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
Self-Repairing Solar Cells Mimic Plant Processes in Nature
January 4, 2011, 3:23 PM
Hybrid Energy Harvesting Tool Uses Light/Heat to Produce Electricity
December 9, 2010, 1:30 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information