Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Frankenstein Technology have developed a battery powered by a bacteriophage virus, which they promise will enable billions of car owners to continue driving round the corner for a pint of milk without the risk of experiencing a vague feeling of remorse that they have just wasted another drop of the world's dwindling fossil fuel reserves.
Instead, muttered the wild-eyed scientists, the motorists of the future will only have to ignore a remorseless, gnawing fear in the back of their minds that, in the event of a front-end shunt, they may inadvertently release a horribly-mutated virus cloud that will devour the flesh of every living creature on the planet, starting with them.
The prototype battery is the size of a coin, making it suitable only for a SoundBlaster remote control or a 20-year-old 8k memory card. However, the twisted minds of misguided scientists are working feverishly to find a way to grow it to the size of a large dog - possibly by bombarding it with Cherenkov radiation, or raising it to the skies at the height of a raging thunderstorm.
When asked whether dabbling with the very forces of creation might perhaps lead to unforeseen consequences, the researchers angrily ordered their assistant - a shambling amoeboid cyborg called Igor - to throw out the ignorant villagers.
"You fools!" they said later, in a press release. "You cannot hope to understand! We are on the brink of realising mankind's greatest goal throughout the centuries - nothing less than power over 1.5V itself!"
A fearful peasant mob of environmentalists which had gathered at the village inn was thwarted when somebody pointed out a fatal flaw in their hastily-devised plan to release the virus from captivity, namely that they stood little chance of burning MIT to its foundations with wind-up torches.