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  1. Plants May Be Our Next Source of Alternative Energy, Still Good at Making Oxygen And Crap

    If your computer isn't powered by a Ficus, I don't want to know you.

    We all know that the future of the human race depends on discovering alternate forms of power to satiate our foolish human appetite for energy. Luckily, scientists think they may have found the 'greenest' way yet to postpone our inevitable move to the moon colony.

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  2. New Technique Hijacks Photosynthesis to Create Electricity From Plants

    Plants use energy from the Sun through photosynthesis, and humans use energy from the Sun through things like solar panels. A new technique created by researchers at the University of Georgia allows humans to get electricity from plants by hijacking the photosynthesis process. This research could someday lead to some very literal power plants.

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  3. Different Photosynthesis Rates Show The Grass Really Is Greener Sometimes

    Researchers at Brown University have found the anatomical and evolutionary basis behind the fact that some varieties of grass really are greener than others -- or at least why they're able to produce food for themselves via photosynthesis more effectively than their cousins. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a slight difference in the cellular structure around the veins in blades of grass can make the difference between a grass that is highly efficient and successful and one that just putters along.

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  4. Protozoa Capture Algae And Steal Their Genes To Evolve, Eventually Turn Into One Species

    If you're a tiny, single-celled animal like a protozoan, photosynthesis is a pretty neat ability, as being able to make food just by laying in the sun is significantly easier than going out and hunting down your own meals. Unfortunately for protozoa, photosynthesis is also a rather tricky proposition, requiring millions of years of evolutionary practice to evolve. One species has developed its own workaround for that small problem, though -- it got the best of both worlds by absorbing algae cells and stealing the genes that control photosynthesis right out of their DNA.

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  5. Photosynthesizing Bugs Can Channel the Power of the Sun

    A new study has revealed that the pea aphid may be the only type of animal to use photosynthesis to collect and store energy. Alain Robichon, an entomologist from the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute in Sophia Antipolis, France, built his research on the findings of Nancy Moran; she discovered that the aphids had the gene to produce carotenoids in the first place. The pea aphid was already among nature's oddest creatures for a bunch of reasons. For example, did you know they can be born pregnant?

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  6. First Practical Artificial Leaf Produces Hydrogen Fuel From Sunlight and Water

    Plants' ability to survive and thrive on a simple diet of sunlight and water can seem sort of miraculous, especially to we animals who have to go through the indignity of eating other living things, pleasant as that may be at times. Wouldn't it be great to be able to harness the Earth's abundant supply of sunlight and water for our own power needs? A newly designed revision of the artificial leaf might let us do that on a wide scale, not for food of course, but for electricity.

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