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The Scoop: Hamsters Generate Electricity by Running a Wheel

While some hamsters show no interest in their wheels in the first place, others use a love of running to fuel something totally cool. Scientists at Georgia Tech harnessed hamster power by outfitting the small mammals with yellow jackets with electricity-generating threads sewn in. The size of these zinc oxide nanowire threads? One-fiftieth (yes, 5-0) of the width of a human hair!
According to Zhong Lin 'ZL' Wang, the co-author of the paper describing this research:

This can totally be scaled up. This is just the first step. The idea is that we would harvest energy from any body movement, from walking, breathing, from any kind of vibration.

Turns out that a thousand hamsters equipped with the current jacket could charge a cell phone but, eventually, they want to make this technology on a human scale. Imagine running to fuel your own iPod – that's some exercise even I could get behind!


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