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Latest Photosynthesis Stories

2012-02-06 11:12:10

Plants leaves are sealed with a gas-tight wax layer to prevent water loss. Plants breathe through microscopic pores called stomata (Greek for mouths) on the surfaces of leaves. Over 40% of the carbon dioxide, CO2, in the atmosphere passes through stomata each year, as well a water volume twice that of the whole atmosphere. As the key conduits for CO2 uptake and water evaporation, stomata are critical for both our climate and plant productivity. Thus, not surprisingly, the total number and...

2012-02-03 12:18:11

Barry D. Bruce, professor of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is turning the term "power plant" on its head. The biochemist and a team of researchers have developed a system that taps into photosynthetic processes to produce efficient and inexpensive energy. Bruce collaborated with researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Switzerland to develop a process that improves the...

2012-02-03 09:21:23

Researchers are turning to plants and solar power in the search for new sources of renewable and sustainable energy that can support the transition from rapidly depleting fossil fuels to a bio-based society. An article published by Cell Press in the February 8th issue of Trends in Plant Science discusses innovative strategies for harnessing and re-routing the chemical reactions associated with photosynthesis to efficiently produce highly valuable products. Photosynthesis is a biological...

2012-02-01 01:10:25

A team of researchers led by Michigan State University has discovered an overachieving plant enzyme that works both the day and night shifts. The discovery, featured in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, shows that plants evolved a new function for this enzyme by changing merely one of its protein building blocks. The enzyme, ATP synthase, usually works the day shift, serving as a key player in storing energy created through photosynthesis in the...

2012-01-26 12:55:34

A new study comparing the carbon-holding power of freshwater wetlands has produced measurements suggesting that wetlands in temperate regions are more valuable as carbon sinks than current policies imply, according to researchers. The study compared several wetlands at two Ohio wetland sites: one composed of mostly stagnant water and one characterized by water regularly flowing through it. The study showed that the stagnant wetland had an average carbon storage rate per year that is almost...

2012-01-25 12:42:36

The upsurge in droughts is one of the main consequences of climate change, and affects crops in particular. However, Anabel Robredo, a biologist at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has confirmed that in the case of barley at least, climate change itself is providing it with self-defence mechanisms to tackle a lack of water. Climate change is in fact also responsible for a considerable increase in the concentration of CO2, a gas that, paradoxically, is providing this plant with...

Molecular 'Culprit' Linked To Rise Of Planetary Oxygen
2012-01-11 04:34:18

A turning point in the history of life occurred 2 to 3 billion years ago with the unprecedented appearance and dramatic rise of molecular oxygen. Now researchers report they have identified an enzyme that was the first — or among the first — to generate molecular oxygen on Earth. The new findings, reported in the journal Structure, build on more than a dozen previous studies that aim to track the molecular evolution of life by looking for evidence of that history in present-day...

2011-12-23 08:32:25

The same principle that causes figure skaters to spin faster as they draw their arms into their bodies has now been used by Michigan State University researchers to understand how molecules move energy around following the absorption of light. Conservation of angular momentum is a fundamental property of nature, one that astronomers use to detect the presence of satellites circling distant planets. In 1927, it was proposed that this principle should apply to chemical reactions, but a clear...

2011-12-19 14:26:12

Algal protein gives boost to electrochemical water splitting Water splitting in photo-electrochemical cells to yield hydrogen is a promising way to sustainable fuels. A team of Swiss and US scientists now made major progress in developing highly efficient electrodes — made of an algal protein, thus mimicking a central step in natural photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is considered the «Holy Grail» in the field of sustainable energy generation because it directly converts...

2011-12-15 17:08:35

A generally accepted 44-year-old assumption about how certain kinds of bacteria make energy and synthesize cell materials has been shown to be incorrect by a team of scientists led by Donald Bryant, the Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State University and a research professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Montana State University. The research, which will be published in the journal Science on 16 December 2011, is expected to help scientists discover...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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