Someday, electrical signals could move across wires thinner than human hair by a magnitude of thousands. Under the aegis of the Office of Naval Research, microbiologists from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have developed the wires by using genetically modified bacteria contained in common soil. The wires that find their way into common use someday would be made using solar energy, carbon dioxide, and plant waste. As such, they would be “green,” and not rely upon the polluting chemical processes now associated with wire production. The procedure also has possible applications in generating an alternative fuel called butanol.