New space suits powered by ear hair?

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Prestin, a protein in ear hair – a substance you likely hitherto thought of as a cosmetic annoyance, if at all – converts tiny electrical charges into sound amplification in the ear, and also can convert vibration into tiny electrical charges. This process looks promising for developing space suits for Mars which would actually generate their own power – from the wind, and natural movements of the astronauts. Considering how many people move around on earth, it seems likely we could find some local applications for this technology! Though if talking charged your mobile, you might die before getting off hook from your boss. [GT]

Motion-sensitive spacesuits could generate power [via Futurismic]

Gabrielle Taylor