Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Artificial photosynthesis

Accounts of Chemical Research just published a special issue on Artificial Photosynthesis and Solar Fuels.

Articles I would particularly like to read include:


  1. The Nature article you brought up the other day was the topic of a full-page highlight in the latest issue of New Scientist (the one with the "water is wierd" cover story).

    You're right that it sounds silly to say that the processes are "optimized" (re: earlier "Evolution does not optimise everything" post). There is no scope I can see for testing that the design of the photosynthetic apparatus is optimized, because no one really understands the underlying parameter space anyway. It really does sound like the logic is: the system was evolved, therefore it is optimimum!

    Since we still can't engineer photosynthetic proteins that work as well as the ones occurring in _healthy_ organisms, the easiest way to explore the parameter space would be to compare across many species that live under similar conditions.

    However, it seems that the appropriate spectroscopies are only applied to a handful of systems chosen for how easy they can be worked with. There aren't enough measurements on different organisms to make any statistically convincing arguments about optimization under this or that physiological condition regime...

  2. To be honest, a lot of this is all pretty silly anyway.

    The problem with evolutionary optimization is that it is multiobjective, and that the _whole_ process often needs to be considered.

    I note that everyone thinks we should be rivalling photosynthesis for efficiency in energy conversion, but NO ONE has suggested that we should be making cars that run on ATP.

  3. INVITATION: to Undersyanding contemporary challenges
    Change the world will become ‘possible only by changing the mechanicistic ideas that are the intellectual cause to devast the world during the industrial epoch.

    Developments on cognitive change and implementation of no mechanic ideas are necessary to promote the framework for renewal of green economy will be discussed during the workshop to be held in the old A. Volta classroom at the University of Pavia on 24 SETT/10.

    You are invited to attend.


    see also the explanatory memorandum in:

    Paolo Manzelli: ;