Strings of electron-carrying proteins may hold the secret to 'electric bacteria'

Could a unique bacterium be nature's microscopic power plant? Scientist Moh El-Naggar and his team think it's possible. They work with the Shewanella oneidensis species of bacteria, one of a group of microbes that essentially "breathe" rocks. As part of their metabolism, the bacteria have developed a way to transfer electrons from the interior of the cell across their outer membrane to a receiving surface in the outside world.