No, we're not talking about turning anti-smoking lobbyists into batteries; they're going after Phillip Morris and co. after all, not Skynet. What we do mean is the Tobacco Mosaic Virus, or TMV, which has been known to have a negative impact on tobacco crops. It can also infect other plants like tomato and pepper, so it's not just smokers who are affected by this virus.
Well apparently, not everything the TMV touches turns into rotting, mottled leaves. When added as an micro-thin layer onto a lithium-ion battery's electrodes, researchers have discovered that the virus can boost capacity and discharge/recharge rates up tenfold.
The experiment is a collaboration between scientists at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.