How Plants Produce Oxygen Revealed by ‘Tour-de-Force’ Laser Measurement

An experiment using intense laser pulses has allowed scientists to watch plants produce oxygen from water as part of photosynthesis in real time, according to a groundbreaking new paper. Read More >>

Freaky Blue Leaves Allow Plants to Thrive in Shade

When it comes to converting sunlight into food, plants overwhelming prefer the colour green. However, new research shows that at least one particular shrub defies this convention, sprouting blue leaves that do a remarkably good job of capturing sunlight when there’s very little to go around. Read More >>

Why Humans Will Never Live Off Sunlight

Imagine if we could be like plants, lying outside all day soaking up sweet, sweet energy from the sun. Doesn’t sound like a bad life, does it? So why aren’t the world’s best minds figuring out how to hack photosynthesis into humans? Read More >>

The Quest to Re-Invent Photosynthesis Just Got More Colourful

Green may be the Plant Kingdom’s colour of choice, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it takes only a little chemical tuning to turn chlorophyll—the light-absorbing pigment that colours plants green—blue, red, orange, or any other hue under the sun. Read More >>

To Feed the World, We May Need to Hack Photosynthesis

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century will be figuring out how to feed our rising global population. Now, some scientists are making the radical claim that growing more food won't be enough—we literally need to hack photosynthesis. Read More >>

The First Man-Made Biological Leaf Turns Light and Water Into Oxygen

If humanity hopes to realise its dreams of exploring the stars, we're going to need to find ways to recreate life on Earth aboard a spaceship. Simply stockpiling enough vital supplies isn't going to cut it, which is what led Julian Melchiorri, a student at the Royal College of Art, to create an artificial biological leaf that produces oxygen just like the ones on our home planet do. Read More >>

NASA’s New Orbiter Will Watch Plants Photosynthesise from Space

For the last 25 years, scientists have been able to monitor the "greenness" of trees from space and use that as a tool for evaluating plant health. The problem is that greenness isn't a good indicator for stresses—such as drought—because some trees (think pines) continue to be a lovely green until they're dead. Researchers are thus turning to a new indictor: the way plants glow. Read More >>

The US Grows the Most Productive Plants in the World, Says NASA

Remember learning about America's "amber waves of grain?" Probably not, you're from the UK, but over yonder it's a lyric from a well known patriotic song. As it turns out that the United States' bread basket—a.k.a., the Corn Belt—is even more productive than previously thought. In fact, during its growing season, it's the most productive land on Earth, according to new NASA data. Read More >>

This Is What Photosynthesis Looks Like From Space

Plants grown and sustain themselves through photosynthesis — a seemingly invisible process that converts sunlight into energy. Now, NASA scientists have developed a way to measure photosynthesis from satellites with unprecedented detail. Read More >>