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As every middle-school child knows, in the process of photosynthesis, plants take the sun's energy and convert it to electrical energy. Now a Tel Aviv Univ. team has demonstrated how a member of the animal kingdom, the Oriental hornet, takes the sun's energy and converts it into electric power—in the brown and yellow parts of its body—as well.

"The interesting thing here is that a living biological creature does a thing like that," says physicist Prof. David Bergman of Tel Aviv Univ.'s School of Physics and Astronomy, who was part of the team that made discovery. "The hornet may have discovered things we do not yet know." In partnership with the late Prof. Jacob Ishay of the university's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Bergman and his doctoral candidate Marian Plotkin engaged in a truly interdisciplinary research project to explain the biological processes that turn a hornet's abdomen into solar cells.

If hornets are going the way bees apparently are, then they'd better study them while they're still around.  To read the rest of the article, click here.

For the abstract, click here.
Category: Science