Hacked photosynthesis could boost crop yields
It is difficult to find fault with a process that can create food from sunlight, water and air, but for many plants, there is room for improvement. Researchers have taken an important step towards enhancing photosynthesis by engineering plants with enzymes from blue-green algae that speed up the process of converting carbon dioxide into sugars.
The results, published today in Nature, surmount a daunting hurdle on the path to boosting plant yields — a goal that is taking on increasing importance as the world’s population grows.
Chester R. Burns
"Fictional Doctors and the Evolution of Medical Ethics in the United States, 1875-1900"
Literature and Medicine, Volume 7, 1988, pp. 39-55 (Article)
This graphic shows the many ways that homeowners can tap the sun to power domestic bliss. Suggestions run the gamut from modern contrivances like solar water heaters and light tubes to tried-and-true clotheslines and shade trees.
Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank focused on resource efficiency through integrative design, includes the average payback for solar upgrades in its graphic. This is a very general measure of when cost savings through using solar energy versus conventionally purchased grid electricity pays for the cost of the system and financing. Click here for a larger version of the image.