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Biotech Science

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"
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One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman

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  • by bigattichouse ( 527527 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:06PM (#30754316) Homepage

    That was my totally favorite upgrade in Mail Order Monsters - recharge from the sub!

  • eating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:06PM (#30754320) Homepage Journal

    I want to be able to never need to eat again -- or do I?

    I'l like the ability to never HAVE to eat again, but I wouldn't want to lose the ability to eat at all. Eating is enjoyable. One would hope that you could control the photosynthesis to keep from getting too fat, though.

  • No you don't (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kiick ( 102190 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:10PM (#30754368)

    As everybody knows....
    It's not easy being green.

  • Re:eating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:23PM (#30754618)
    Slugs aren't very energetic. It's doubtful that photosynthesis alone will provide the energy necessary to power your body and that meat based computer in your head. You would still need to ingest a fair amount of food, in order to extract the concentrated energy contained in it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:31PM (#30754762)

    This might be used to supply a maintenance level of energy such that if your activity level was relatively low and in an environment where you could get enough sun and water, it might keep you alive until you can get to a better situation but I doubt it could supply enough energy to keep an athletic person performing at their peak level. For instance, I doubt we'd see someone be able to do the Tour de France on self supplied sugars.

    I could see some basement dwelling computer nerds trying this and setting up enough brights lights and such that the local police might think it was a grow-op in operation.

  • Re:eating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:35PM (#30754806) Journal

    New rule: You’re only allowed to intentionally miss the point of a joke if the joke you’re making is funnier than the one you’re ignoring.

  • by jameskojiro ( 705701 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:10PM (#30755342) Journal

    Especially in Third world countries where there is plenty of sun, not much food and not much to do other than subsistence living,. At least it would be enough to get a lot of starving humans through the dry famine months that they get in thrid world countries near the equator.

    Sure their skin would be green, but that beats starving to death.

  • Re:eating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mea37 ( 1201159 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:32PM (#30755686)

    The point I think you (and GP, and the submitter, and many others) are missing is, photosynthesis does not remove the need to eat. Energy isn't the only thing you get from food. If you had vitamin pills so effective that you could live on them, plus sugar, plus water - and nothing else - then you could replace the sugar with the ability to perform photosynthesis. Such pills do not exist.

    In case you're wondering, plants do indeed "eat". That's why they need roots in fertile soil.

  • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @04:36PM (#30755746)

    Wouldn't that be a fluke that only needed to happen once?

    Calling it a "fluke" is not an explanation. The thing about scientists is, they like to find out how these "flukes" happen.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky