First they conscripted E. coli into computations; now scientists have coaxed the bacteria into pushing on the teeth of a tiny crankshaft. The Physics arXiv Blog explains how it works:
Now Angelani and co have built one [of] these asymmetric [teeth] and persuaded a bath full of E. Coli to push it round at a [speed] of 1rpm. Interestingly, Angelani and co report that most of the work is done by just a few bacteria, saying that only 2 out of 10 bacteria attached to a single tooth seem to be contributing to the torque.
Previously: "Biologists create a living computer from E. coli bacteria"