MIT scientists are working on a greener way to make lithium batteries using natural biological systems. A genetically engineered virus binds to microscopic carbon nanotubes creating a "scaffolding" effect for efficiently conducting electrons.
Lab experiments have shown these naturally constructed batteries are as efficient as conventionally produced lithium batteries while requiring much less energy to produce and reducing manufacturing-related pollution. And there is promise for stronger batteries as the engineered virus is fine tuned.
Listen to an NPR report here.