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Current Photosynthesis News and Events, Photosynthesis News Articles.
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Biosensing nanodevice to revolutionize health screenings
One day soon a biosensing nanodevice developed by Arizona State University researcher Wayne Frasch may eliminate long lines at airport security checkpoints and revolutionize health screenings for diseases like anthrax, cancer and antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Even more incredible than the device itself, is that it is based on the world's tiniest rotary motor: a biological engine measured on the order of molecules. (2008-03-25)

Artificial photosynthesis moves a step closer
J├╝lich scientists have made an important step on the long road to artificially mimicking photosynthesis. They were able to synthesise a stable inorganic metal oxide cluster, which enables the fast and effective oxidation of water to oxygen. This is reported by the German high-impact journal Angewandte Chemie in a publication rated as a VIP ( (2008-03-25)

New twist on life's power source
A startling discovery by scientists at the Carnegie Institution puts a new twist on photosynthesis, arguably the most important biological process on Earth. Two studies suggest that certain widespread marine microorganisms have evolved a way to break the rules of normal photosynthesis -- they can harvest solar energy without a net release of oxygen or uptake of carbon dioxide. (2008-03-11)

Researchers visualize complex pigment mixtures in living cells
In a technical advance that could allow researchers to watch cells as they act during the process of photosynthesis, scientists have developed a method that extends the power of fluorescence-mediated bio-imaging to see discrete pigments inside live cells of bacteria. The method is providing fresh insights into what happens on a molecular level during photosynthesis, the process of collecting sunlight and turning it into chemical energy. (2008-03-04)

Tiny polyps need 2 kinds of carbon to survive coral bleaching
How well ocean reefs recover from the growing damage caused by warming sea temperatures depends both on how much the tiny coral polyps can eat, and how healthy they can keep the microscopic algae that live inside their bodies. New research may change the way scientists look at this symbiotic partnership, shifting it from a case where the polyps function only as landlords to one where the tiny creatures actually nurture their algae. (2008-03-04)

Breakthrough in plant research
The research groups of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki and the University of California in San Diego have discovered a gene that is centrally involved in the regulation of carbon dioxide uptake for photosynthesis and water evaporation in plants. The discovery can aid the development of drought-tolerant crops. The article is published online ahead of print in Nature's on Feb. 27, 2008. (2008-02-27)

Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen
Plants trees and algae do it. Even some bacteria and moss do it, but scientists have had a difficult time developing methods to turn sunlight into useful fuel. Now, Penn State researchers have a proof-of-concept device that can split water and produce recoverable hydrogen. (2008-02-17)

Project focuses on production of hydrogen from bacteria and sunlight
If we wanted to create the ideal environmentally friendly energy source, it would be a fuel that is easy and economical to produce, and one that does not pollute our air when burned. That is exactly what researchers at Arizona State University intend to develop in a new program that uses bacteria and sunlight to generate hydrogen, a clean fuel that produces no greenhouse gases. (2008-02-14)

Researchers decode genetics of rare photosynthetic bacterium
A bacterium that harvests far-red light by making a rare form of chlorophyll (chlorophyll d) has revealed its genetic secrets, according to a team of researchers who recently sequenced the bacteria's genome. The researchers, from Arizona State University and Washington University, St. Louis, report their findings in the current online edition (Feb. 4) of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2008-02-07)

Bacterium sequenced makes rare form of chlorophyll
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Arizona State University have sequenced the genome of a rare bacterium that harvests light energy by making an even rarer form of chlorophyll, chlorophyll d. Chlorophyll d absorbs (2008-02-04)

Forests could benefit when fall color comes late
Autumn colors are appearing later and later, if at all. Scientists say we can blame increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for prolonging the growing season. And that may actually be good news for forestry industries. (2008-01-22)

Cornell researchers prove how plants transport sugars
Using genetic engineering techniques, Cornell University researchers have proven a long-standing theory of how many plants ship sugars from their leaves to flowers, roots, fruits and other parts of their structure. (2007-12-21)

Variable light illuminates the distribution of picophytoplankton
Tiny photosynthetic plankton less than a millionth of a millimeter in diameter numerically dominate marine phytoplankton. Their photosynthesis uses light to drive carbon dioxide uptake, fueling the marine food web over vast areas of the oceans. A new study published in this week's PLoS ONE by postdoctoral researcher Dr. Christophe Six and a team of scientists from MountAllison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, illuminates how the environment regulates the distributions of these ecologically important species. (2007-12-18)

New research alters concept of how circadian clock functions
Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified a molecule that may govern how the circadian clock in plants responds to environmental changes. (2007-12-13)

Sweet fuel supply
A new type of fuel cell powered with glucose derived from biomass is described in the latest issue of the Inderscience Publication International Journal of Global Energy Issues. The experimental device works by using sunlight to convert the glucose into hydrogen to power the cell, which produces several hundred millivolts. (2007-11-28)

Bioclocks work by controlling chromosome coiling
A new study provides direct evidence that biological clocks can influence the activity of a large number of different genes in an ingenious fashion, simply by causing chromosomes to coil more tightly during the day and to relax at night. (2007-11-21)

Scientists unravel plants' natural defenses
A team of researchers, led by the University of Sheffield and Queen Mary, University of London, has discovered how plants protect their leaves from damage by sunlight when they are faced with extreme climates. The new findings, which have been published in Nature, could have implications both for adapting plants to the threat of global warming and for helping man better harness solar energy. (2007-11-21)

Forests damaged by Hurricane Katrina become major carbon source
With the help of NASA satellite data, a research team has estimated that Hurricane Katrina killed or severely damaged 320 million large trees in Gulf Coast forests, which weakened the role the forests play in storing carbon from the atmosphere. The damage has led to these forests releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. (2007-11-15)

Researchers successfully simulate photosynthesis and design a better leaf
Illinois researchers have built a better plant, one that produces more leaves and fruit without needing extra fertilizer. The researchers accomplished this feat using a computer model that mimics the process of evolution. Theirs is the first model to simulate every step of the photosynthetic process. (2007-11-09)

Biogeochemistry -- A window into the Earth's ecological health
On Oct. 29, Dr. William H. Schlesinger, president of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies, will present his latest analysis of human impacts on the global nitrogen cycle as the Michel T. Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Denver. (2007-10-26)

Iowa State professor's genome research published in the latest issue of Science
An Iowa State University professor is part of team that is published in Science for sequencing and annotating the genome of the green algae chlamydomonas. (2007-10-11)

'Chlamy' genome holds clues for renewable energy, the environment and human health
University of Minnesota researchers contributed to a national effort to sequence the genome of an ancient, one-celled organism that will help advance research in a broad range of areas, from biofuels to restoring the environment to understanding a variety of human diseases. (2007-10-11)

Study involving more than 100 scientists provides new insights on green algae
More than 100 scientists worldwide report in the Oct. 12 issue of the journal Science a 'goldmine' of data on a tiny green alga called Chlamydomonas, with implications for human diseases. (2007-10-11)

Green algae -- the nexus of plant/animal ancestry
Genes of a tiny, single-celled green alga called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii may contain scores more data about the common ancestry of plants and animals than the richest paleontological dig. This work is described in an article in the Oct. 12, 2007, issue of Science. (2007-10-11)

Simplest circadian clocks operate via orderly phosphate transfers
Researchers at Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have found that a simple circadian clock found in some bacteria operates by the rhythmic addition and subtraction of phosphate groups at two key locations on a single protein. This phosphate pattern is influenced by two other proteins, driving phosphorylation to oscillate according to a remarkably accurate 24-hour cycle. (2007-10-04)

Study shows vitamin C is essential for plant growth
Scientists from the University of Exeter and Shimane University in Japan have proved for the first time that vitamin C is essential for plant growth. This discovery could have implications for agriculture and for the production of vitamin C dietary supplements. (2007-09-23)

Working toward new energy with electrochemistry
In an effort to develop alternative energy sources such as fuel cells and solar fuel from (2007-08-20)

Plants and stress -- key players on the thin line between life and death revealed
Scientists from VIB, associated with the K. U. Leuven, have revealed a mechanism demonstrating the ways in which plants deal with stress. The discovered control system has a remarkable way of orchestrating activity of hundreds of genes, forcing the plant into (2007-08-01)

Isoprene emission from plants -- a volatile answer to heat stress
Isoprene is a hydrocarbon volatile compound emitted in high quantities by many woody plant species, with significant impact on atmospheric chemistry. Researchers have applied genetic engineering techniques to obtain transgenic Grey poplar (Populus x canescens) trees with decreased isoprene emission, and examined their tolerance to heat. Their findings have been published in the Plant Journal. (2007-07-26)

Innovative research technique reveals another natural wonder in Yellowstone Park
In the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, a team of researchers partially funded by the National Science Foundation discovered a new bacterium that transforms light into chemical energy. The discovery of the chlorophyll-producing bacterium, Candidatus chloracidobacterium (Cab.) thermophilum, is described in the July 27, 2007, issue of Science in a paper led by Don Bryant of Penn State University and David M. Ward of Montana State University. (2007-07-26)

Piecing together the cyanobacteria puzzle
Blue green algae are significant species in the global carbon cycle because they transform nitrogen gas from the atmosphere into a useable nutrient, enabling photosynthesis in nutrient-poor waters. (2007-07-10)

MU researchers make discovery in molecular mechanics of phototropism
In a paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, scientists at the University of Missouri-Columbia reported molecular-level discoveries about the mechanisms of phototropism, the directional growth of plants toward or away from light. (2007-07-05)

Scientists ponder plant life on extrasolar Earthlike planets
Scientists seeking clues to life on extrasolar planets are studying various biosignatures found in light leaking out to Earth to speculate on what kind of photosynthesis might occur up there asnd waht plants might look like. A Washington University researcher says the plants could be black. (2007-06-19)

Envisat captures first image of Sargassum from space
Sargassum seaweed, famous in nautical lore for entangling ships in its dense floating vegetation, has been detected from space for the first time thanks to an instrument aboard ESA's environmental satellite, Envisat. The ability to monitor Sargassum globally will allow researchers to understand better the primary productivity of the ocean and better predict climate change. (2007-06-06)

Scientists offer new view of photosynthesis
During the remarkable cascade of events of photosynthesis, plants scavenge nearly every photon of available light energy to produce food. In the May 4 issue of Science, an ASU Biodesign Institute team led by Neal Woodbury has published new insights that allow plants or bacteria to harness light energy efficiently even when conditions aren't optimal. The answers may be good news for organic solar cell technology, a low cost alternative to traditional silicon solar cells. (2007-05-03)

Protein enables discovery of quantum effect in photosynthesis
When it comes to studying energy transfer in photosynthesis, it's good to think (2007-05-02)

Satellites play vital role in understanding the carbon cycle
The global carbon cycle plays a vital role in climate change and is of intense importance to policy makers, but significant knowledge gaps remain in our understanding of it. Several scientists at the Envisat Symposium this week have highlighted research projects using ESA satellites to understand better this complex process. (2007-04-25)

Quantum secrets of photosynthesis revealed
The mystery of how nature, through photosynthesis, is able to transfer solar energy through molecular systems with nearly 100-percent efficiency appears to have been solved. A study led by researchers with the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley reports that the answer lies in quantum mechanical effects. (2007-04-12)

NASA predicts nongreen plants on other planets
NASA scientists believe they have found a way to predict the color of plants on planets in other solar systems. (2007-04-11)

All roads lead to GUN1
Scientists have identified three different signals that indicate damage to chloroplasts -- the photosynthetic factories of plant cells that give plants their green color -- but little is known about how the signal gets passed on to the nucleus. Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies made a big step towards explaining how chloroplasts let a cell's nucleus know when things start to go wrong at the periphery so nuclear gene expression can be adjusted accordingly. (2007-03-29)

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