Photosynthesis
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First higher animal that can actively photosynthesize like plants

First higher animal that can actively photosynthesize like plants | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it

Plants, algae, and bacteria have a clear advantage over the animal kingdom when it comes to their powers of photosynthesis. A certain species of sea slug can steal photosynthetic DNA from algae, but animals don't photosynthesize on their own. At least that's what we thought. New evidence has come to life suggesting that a species of aphid might be able to convert sunlight to energy.

 

The green pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) is already a strange creature. Aphids reproduce by parthenogenesis and can be born pregnant, though males (who sometimes lack mouths) are born in colder weather. They're also the only animal that has been identified that can synthesize carotenoids, the pigments that appear in chloroplasts and chromoplasts that harness solar energy for use by the cells. Does that mean that pea aphids photosynthesize?

 

That's the question explored in a recent study, "Light-induced electron transfer and ATP synthesis in a carotene synthesizing insect," published this week in Nature. In 2010, Yale entomologist Nancy Moran discovered that aphids possess the gene for synthesizing carotenoids, meaning that the pigment is "home grown" rather than lifted from another photosynthetic species.

 

Carotenoids are metabolically expensive chemicals to synthesize, prompting Alain Robichon, an entomologist at the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute, to wonder what purpose the carotenoids serve. Robichon studied different colored aphids of the species: green aphids, which contain high levels of carotenoids and are born in colder lab conditions; orange aphids, which are born in optimal lab conditions; and white aphids, which contain little to no carotenoid pigment and are born when resources are limited. Robichon's team found that the green aphids make significantly higher levels of ATP than white aphids do, and that orange aphids make more ATP when placed in sunlight than when placed in darkness. This suggests that the pigments may be part of a system of photo-induced electron transfer that enables aphids to synthesize energy from sunlight.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Photosynthesis-like process found in insects

Photosynthesis-like process found in insects | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it
Aphids may have a rudimentary sunlight-harvesting system.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Photosynthesis and Respiration

013 - Free Energy Capture and Storage Paul Andersen details the processes of photosynthesis and respiration in this video on free energy capture and storage....

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Anatomy of the Plant Cell vs a Human Cell | Interactive Biology, by Leslie Samuel

Anatomy of the Plant Cell vs a Human Cell | Interactive Biology, by Leslie Samuel | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it
This week, I would like to take a break from human anatomy and move on to something different: plant cell anatomy. I know botany is not everyone’s cup of tea; I am included in that category.

Via Jon Freer
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Nicole's curator insight, November 10, 2013 11:24 PM

What do you find most interesting about the plant cell?

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The Life Story of the Sun and Earth

The Life Story of the Sun and Earth | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it

For an international online cooperative web project for education on the Edx platform (https://www.edx.org/). Do you want to help?

 

I am going to start putting together a lecture on chemistry, ethics, genetics, and a protein that is important for life on earth and game theoretic approaches to understanding how it can be imagined as a place of balance of power on earth as I did during a lecture at Princeton Theological Seminary.

 

The protein, found in the genomes of all plants and some bacteria, is called photosystem II and uses light to make food for all life on earth in what is called photosynthesis.

 

The idea is to explain life on earth as a system and that this protein is an important “river” of energy. It, with the exception of life that lives in deep sea vents, is the source of how solar energy enters into all kinds of life. Animals, bacteria, fungi, and plants all rely on this protein. So, the idea is to build a foundation lecture to explain about the science of this protein.

 

Then, I will explain how ethics links to this protein. I will talk about sharing and cooperation to facilitate a balance of energy on earth between those life forms who have power and those who do not. We will encourage the evolution a scientific foundation and approach for good ethics in humanity.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, September 24, 2013 10:51 AM

I believe this is important. This guy is proposing to get to the basics of how our bodies (and all other life forms in general) are nourished by the Sun's light... what cycles are involved, and how organic life can be seen as a system that can be analyzed and understood.

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Artificial Photosynthesis for Splitting Water Reaches One-Volt ...

Artificial Photosynthesis for Splitting Water Reaches One-Volt ... | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it
A milestone acheivement in pursuit of the 1.5 volts needed for fuel cell applications.
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New light shone on photosynthesis

New light shone on photosynthesis | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it

Photosynthesis is one of the fundamental processes of life on Earth. The evolutionary transition from anoxygenic (no oxygen produced) to oxygenic (oxygen-producing) photosynthesis resulted in the critical development of atmospheric oxygen. One of the outstanding questions of the early Earth is how ancient organisms made this transition. Ferns are believed to have played a key role in the process.


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Will we ever… photosynthesise like plants?

Will we ever… photosynthesise like plants? | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it
Plants | HULK GREEN BUT NO CAN FIX OWN CARBON. THAT MAKE HULK ANGRY!

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Khan Academy- Photosynthesis

Khan Academy- Photosynthesis | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it

Very good and thorough lectures on photosynthesis


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NASA Animation: Watching the Earth Breathe | Climate Central

NASA Animation: Watching the Earth Breathe | Climate Central | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it

When Charles Keeling first began measuring the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide levels in the late 1950’s, he noted first that they stood at about 315 parts per million (ppm), or 315 molecules of carbon dioxide for every million molecules of air.

Soon after, though, he found that the concentrations were rising, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels (today, they stand at around 395 ppm and they’re still rising). But he also noticed that the upward curve of CO2 concentrations had a sawtooth pattern. That pattern saw CO2 rise sharply in the fall in the Northern Hemisphere -- when leaves died and fell off the trees to rot -- then drop slightly in spring as new leaves emerged to start drawing in CO2 for photosynthesis. (Leaves fall and sprout in the Southern Hemisphere, too, in an exactly opposite pattern, but there’s so much more ocean and so much less land south of the Equator that the Northern effect is a lot stronger).

Now NASA has put together an animation that shows this process in a much more vivid way. Based on observations from two instruments on the Aqua spacecraft, the animation shows how the disappearance of leaves (green) leads to an increase in atmospheric CO2 (yellow-orange), first in one hemisphere, then in the other — and just as Keeling showed a half-century ago, the effect in the Northern Hemisphere is a lot stronger.


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How the First Plant Came to Be: Scientific American

How the First Plant Came to Be: Scientific American | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it
A genetic analysis reveals the ancient, complex--and symbiotic--roots of photosynthesis in plants...

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The Full Palette of Photosynthesis - Astrobiology Magazine

The Full Palette of Photosynthesis - Astrobiology Magazine | Photosynthesis | Scoop.it
Astrobiology Magazine
The Full Palette of Photosynthesis
Astrobiology Magazine
Some scientists have conjectured that an alien civilization might know Earth is inhabited by recognizing the VRE. "The VRE is unique -- there are no minerals that look ...
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