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Latest Photosystem Stories

2011-11-30 04:43:34

A biomimetic antenna for gathering sunlight may one day transform solar-powered devices. Sometimes when people talk about solar energy, they tacitly assume that we´re stuck with some version of the silicon solar cell and its technical and cost limitations. Not so. The invention of the solar cell, in 1941, was inspired by a newfound understanding of semiconductors, materials that can use light energy to create mobile electrons–and ultimately an electrical current....

2011-08-01 14:28:39

Stress protection: How blue-green algae hoard energy Under normal conditions, cyanobacteria, also termed blue-green algae, build up energy reserves that allow them to survive under stress such as long periods of darkness. They do this by means of a molecular switch in an enzyme. By removing this switch, it should be possible to use the excess energy of the bacteria for biotechnological purposes such as hydrogen production, without the bacteria suffering. This was found out by researchers at...

2011-05-12 22:41:16

In a head-to-head battle of harvesting the sun's energy, solar cells beat plants, according to a new paper in Science. But scientists think they can even up the playing field, says researcher David Kramer at Michigan State University. Plants are less efficient at capturing the energy in sunlight than solar cells mostly because they have too much evolutionary baggage. Plants have to power a living thing, whereas solar cells only have to send electricity down a wire. This is a big difference...

2011-05-12 22:12:16

"I have a slide that has a photo of a cornfield and a big photovoltaic array," says Robert Blankenship, a scientist who studies photosynthesis at Washington University in St. Louis. "When I give talks I often ask the audience which one is more efficient. Invariably the audience votes overwhelmingly in favor of photosynthesis. " They are wrong. This question and its surprising answer (below) is the point of departure for a provocative article published in the May 13 issue of Science. The...

2011-02-20 21:46:00

Inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis, according to a Penn State materials chemist, but a number of problems need to be solved first. "We are focused on the hardest way to make fuel," said Thomas Mallouk, Evan Pugh Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics. "We are creating an artificial system that mimics photosynthesis, but it will be practical only when it is as cheap as gasoline or jet fuel." Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen...

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2011-02-03 12:45:00

Arizona State University builds protein beam injector; contributes nanocrystalsUnraveling the molecular basis of life is an age-old quest of humanity. A breakthrough towards this goal was reported in a pair of studies published Feb. 3 in the scientific journal Nature, detailing a new method developed to determine structures of biomolecules based on diffraction from protein nanocrystals that are so small that they are not even visible under the microscope. A tiny aerojet nozzle provides a...

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2010-06-25 08:11:42

For a plant, light is life. It drives everything from photosynthesis to growth and reproduction. Yet the chain of molecular events that enables light signals to control gene activity and ultimately a plant's architecture had remained in the dark. Now a team of researchers from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Duke University have identified the courier that gives the signal to revamp the plant's gene expression pattern after photoreceptors have been activated by light. "Light is...

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2010-03-04 10:37:20

TAU scientists create a solar energy device from a plant protein structure If harnessing the unlimited solar power of the sun were easy, we wouldn't still have the greenhouse gas problem that results from the use of fossil fuel. And while solar energy systems work moderately well in hot desert climates, they are still inefficient and contribute only a small percentage of the general energy demand. A new solution may be coming from an unexpected source "” a source that may be on your...

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2010-02-20 14:56:03

An international team of scientists, including two from Arizona State University, have taken a significant step closer to unlocking the secrets of photosynthesis, and possibly to cleaner fuels. Plants and algae, as well as cyanobacteria, use photosynthesis to produce oxygen and "fuels," the latter being oxidizable substances like carbohydrates and hydrogen. There are two pigment-protein complexes that orchestrate the primary reactions of light in oxygenic photosynthesis: photosystem I (PSI)...

2010-01-27 10:49:10

As so-called primary producers, plants use solar energy to synthesize the foodstuffs that sustain other forms of life. This process of photosynthesis works in much the same way as the solar panels that supply energy for domestic heating. Like these, plant leaves must cope with variations in the level and quality of ambient light. LMU researcher Professor Dario Leister and his colleagues at LMU Munich have been studying how this is accomplished in the thale cress, Arabidopsis thaliana. "It...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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