Latest Photosynthesis Stories

2011-10-14 20:49:05

A research group led by ETH Zurich has now, for the first time, visualized the motion of electrons during a chemical reaction. The new findings in the experiment are of fundamental importance for photochemistry and could also assist the design of more efficient solar cells. In 1999, Ahmed Zewail was awarded the nobel prize in chemistry for his studies of chemical reactions using ultrashort laser pulses. Zewail was able to watch the motion of atoms and thus visualize transition states on...

2011-10-12 23:21:24

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have discovered that bacterial communication could have a significant impact on the planet's climate. In the ocean, bacteria coalesce on tiny particles of carbon-rich detritus sinking through the depths. WHOI marine biogeochemists Laura Hmelo, Benjamin Van Mooy, and Tracy Mincer found that these bacteria send out chemical signals to discern if other bacteria are in the neighborhood. If enough of their cohorts are nearby, then bacteria...

How Could Life have Survived 'Snowball Earth'
2011-10-11 08:36:07

Global glaciation likely put a chill on life on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago, but new research indicates that simple life in the form of photosynthetic algae could have survived in a narrow body of water with characteristics similar to today's Red Sea. "Under those frigid conditions, there are not a lot of places where you would expect liquid water and light to occur in the same area, and you need both of those things for photosynthetic algae to survive," said Adam Campbell, a...

Researchers Turning Emissions Into Fuel
2011-10-07 05:59:13

Researchers have produced a way to simultaneously reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and produce fuel. University of Illinois researchers said they have teamed up with startup company Dioxide Materials to produce a new method that improves artificial photosynthesis. In artificial photosynthesis, an electrochemical cell uses energy collected by solar panels or wind turbines to convert CO2 to simple carbon fuels like formic aside or methanol. Turning carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide...

2011-10-05 14:48:04

A new insight into global photosynthesis, the chemical process governing how ocean and land plants absorb and release carbon dioxide, has been revealed in research that will assist scientists to more accurately assess future climate change. In a paper published today in Nature, a team of US, Dutch and Australian scientists have estimated that the global rate of photosynthesis, the chemical process governing the way ocean and land plants absorb and release CO2, occurs 25% faster than...

2011-09-29 22:30:37

Researchers recommend the reworking of global carbon models in Nature The global uptake of carbon by land plants may be up to 45 per cent more than previously thought. This is the conclusion of an international team of scientists, based on the variability of heavy oxygen atoms in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere driven by the El Niño effect. As the oxygen atoms in carbon dioxide were converted faster than expected during the El Niño years, current...

2011-09-24 09:02:06

International Panel of Scientists Point the Way Forward Photosynthesis is one of nature´s finest miracles. Through the photosynthetic process, green plants absorb sunlight in their leaves and convert the photonic energy into chemical energy that is stored as sugars in the plants´ biomass. If we can learn from nature and develop an artificial version of photosynthesis we would have an energy source that is absolutely clean and virtually inexhaustible. “Solar energy is...

2011-09-23 12:11:53

All-natural nanostructures could address pressing environmental problem A year ago Northwestern University chemists published their recipe for a new class of nanostructures made of sugar, salt and alcohol. Now, the same team has discovered the edible compounds can efficiently detect, capture and store carbon dioxide. And the compounds themselves are carbon-neutral. The porous crystals -- known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) -- are made from all-natural ingredients and are simple to...

Image 1 - Nature Offers Lessons On Harvesting Solar Power
2011-09-23 04:26:01

  Clean solutions to human energy demands are essential to our future. While sunlight is the most abundant source of energy at our disposal, we have yet to learn how to capture, transfer and store solar energy efficiently. According to University of Toronto chemistry professor Greg Scholes, the answers can be found in the complex systems at work in nature. "Solar fuel production often starts with the energy from light being absorbed by an assembly of molecules," said Scholes, the...

Word of the Day
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'