9 posts tagged with photosynthesis.
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The Puzzle of Plastid Evolution

The Puzzle of Plastid Evolution: A comprehensive understanding of the origin and spread of plastids remains an important yet elusive goal in the field of eukaryotic evolution. Combined with the discovery of new photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic protist lineages, the results of recent taxonomically broad phylogenomic studies suggest that a re-shuffling of higher-level eukaryote systematics is in order. Consequently, new models of plastid evolution involving ancient secondary and tertiary endosymbioses are needed to explain the full spectrum of photosynthetic eukaryotes. [Full Text HTML] [Full Text PDF] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 20, 2012 - 8 comments

"Nature means necessity."

First Evidence Found for Photosynthesis in Insects: [] "The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes."
posted by Fizz on Aug 18, 2012 - 26 comments

More Evidence Found for Quantum Physics in Photosynthesis

Previous experiments have hinted at the connection... Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis. Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it’s been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear. In an experiment published Dec. 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a connection between coherence — far-flung molecules interacting as one, separated by space but not time — and energy flow is established. “There was a smoking gun before,” said study co-author Greg Engel of the University of Chicago. “Here we can watch the relationship between coherence and energy transfer. This is the first paper showing that coherence affects the probability of transport. It really does change the chemical dynamics.”
posted by aleph on Dec 7, 2011 - 64 comments

Artificial Leaf

"A practical [inexpensive] artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades. We believe we [Sun Catalytix] have done it." Video: Professor Daniel Nocera at MIT
posted by stbalbach on Mar 29, 2011 - 74 comments

Roger Penrose is looking more credible

Quantum processes involved in photosynthesis? "[A]lgae and bacteria may have been performing quantum calculations at life-friendly temperatures for billions of years. The evidence comes from a study of how energy travels across the light-harvesting molecules involved in photosynthesis. The work has culminated this week in the extraordinary announcement that these molecules in a marine alga may exploit quantum processes at room temperature to transfer energy without loss. Physicists had previously ruled out quantum processes, arguing that they could not persist for long enough at such temperatures to achieve anything useful." (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Feb 10, 2010 - 43 comments

the future of fuel?

Using photosynthesis to power hydrogen production
Researchers have found that if they insert platinum nanoclusters into the photosynthetic machinery of bacteria, one acre could produce an amount of hydrogen equivalent to 79 gallons of gas per day. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 13, 2009 - 37 comments

The Solar Connection

Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
posted by digaman on Dec 24, 2008 - 39 comments

Green Genes

"Leaves that crawl".... Assimilated chloroplasts give a species of sea slug its deep green glow; and to keep it, Elysia Chlorotica becomes even a little more plant-like....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Nov 25, 2008 - 23 comments

Oh, the humanity!

Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen. Thomas E. Mallouk and W. Justin Youngblood, postdoctoral fellow in chemistry, together with collaborators at Arizona State University, developed a catalyst system that, combined with a dye, can mimic the electron transfer and water oxidation processes that occur in plants during photosynthesis. They reported the results of their experiments at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science today in Boston.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Feb 18, 2008 - 48 comments

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