Well, it seems only appropriate that I announce our March issue – a Focus on Metals – on National Battery Day. In case you haven’t already seen the new content (alas, it actually went live on Friday, so this post is slightly old news), there are some great pieces inside. In particular, you can ponder the irony of iron being so good for you but tetanus being so bad for you as you read this commentary and this review, which discuss the biological and chemical roles of iron enzymes. Alternatively, you can check out the progress that synthetic chemists are making in designing fluorescent metal sensors in this review. There’s other good stuff as well, but too much to mention in one blog, so you’ll have to check it out yourself.
As a side note (still considering the overlap of metals in biology and batteries), I wonder if anyone is trying to evolve those nanowire-making bacteria to make batteries directly instead? I also spotted this semi-recent paper where the authors are using virus templates to deposit metals for battery electrodes. Seems like the crossover between metals and biology is getting charged up in all kinds of directions…
Catherine (associate editor, Nature Chemical Biology)