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Biotech Earth Science

Frog Foam Photosynthesis 21

Garrett Fox writes "University of Cincinnati researchers describe a method of getting photosynthesis from a high-surface-area foam containing enzymes that produce sugar using light and CO2 (abstract). Oddly, the foam itself is derived from a species of frog. More interesting is that the technique doesn't use whole cells or apparently even chloroplasts. The researchers claim 'chemical conversion efficiencies approaching 96%,' as well as tolerance for deliberately high-CO2 environments."
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Frog Foam Photosynthesis

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  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @02:09PM (#31525430) Journal

    TFA is actually a six-page article behind a paywall, but everyone can get a 13 page PDF with the supplementary information, (most of which is pretty Greek to me as a non-bio geek) behind the "Supporting Info" link [].

    If I read the article correctly, this research group had already got 95% efficiency using a different kind of foam, it's just that this frog-protein-foam enables more sugar to be generated before the foam breaks. OTOH, I'm pretty sure I'm not really qualified to even have an opinion.

    And judging from the summary of the article, the researchers are not expecting this to be able to be more efficient than the most efficient plants. So that 95% number is just not comparable to the maybe 10% photosynthetic yield of the best plants from sunlight because it's measuring something different.

  • by bruce_the_moose ( 621423 ) on Thursday March 18, 2010 @02:35PM (#31525840)
    University of Cincinnati [] article about frog foam and photsynthesis.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"