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  • richardmitnick 7:15 am on July 6, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NASA Prize-Winning Experiment Could Be The Future of Artificial Photosynthesis", , , , , Photosynthesis,   

    From The University of California-Riverside via “Science Alert (AU)” : “NASA Prize-Winning Experiment Could Be The Future of Artificial Photosynthesis” 

    UC Riverside bloc

    From The University of California-Riverside

    via

    ScienceAlert

    “Science Alert (AU)”

    6 JULY 2022
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    (Sarayut Thaneerat/Getty Images)

    The process of turning water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight into oxygen and energy helps plants to grow naturally – and it’s a process that scientists are looking to harness and adapt in order to produce food, fuel, and more besides.

    In a new study, scientists outline an experimental artificial photosynthesis technique, which deploys a two-step electrocatalytic process to turn carbon dioxide, water, and electricity generated by solar panels into acetate (the main component of vinegar). This acetate can then be harnessed by plants in order to grow.

    In fact, the system that the researchers have designed here is intended not just to mimic the photosynthesis that happens in nature, but to actually improve on it – in plants, only around 1 percent of the sunlight’s energy is actually turned into plant biomass, whereas here the efficiency can be multiplied by about fourfold.

    2
    An outline of the researchers’ technique. (Hann et al, Nature Food 2022)

    “With our approach we sought to identify a new way of producing food that could break through the limits normally imposed by biological photosynthesis,” says chemical and environmental engineer Robert Jinkerson from the University of California, Riverside.

    The electricity conversion device or electrolyzer developed by the researchers had to be specially optimized in order to act as a growth driver for food-producing organisms, which in part meant boosting the amount of acetate and lowering the amount of salt produced.

    Further experiments by the team demonstrated that acetate-rich electrolyzer output could support a variety of organisms, including green algae, yeast, and mycelium, which produces mushrooms. To give you a comparison, algae production is about four times as energy efficient using this method compared with natural photosynthesis.

    Cowpea, tomato, tobacco, rice, canola, and green pea crops were all able to make use of the carbon in the acetate and grow without sunlight, the scientists showed. The process could be used in addition to normal photosynthesis, as well as instead of it.

    3
    Plants growing in complete darkness in an acetate medium. (Marcus Harland-Dunaway/UCR)

    “We found that a wide range of crops could take the acetate we provided and build it into the major molecular building blocks an organism needs to grow and thrive,” says Marcus Harland-Dunaway, a botany and plant scientist from UC Riverside.

    “With some breeding and engineering that we are currently working on we might be able to grow crops with acetate as an extra energy source to boost crop yields.”

    The process outlined here is so impressive that it’s one of the winners of the NASA Deep Space Food Challenge, a showcase of emerging tech that could one day help in growing food in space: imagine being able to grow crops inside underground bunkers on Mars, for instance.

    It’s not just in space where artificial photosynthesis could mark a drastic change in food production. The climate crisis means that extreme temperatures, drought, floods, and other threats to standard agricultural practices are becoming more common.

    While processes like this aren’t an excuse not to tackle climate change, they could help make food production more resilient, and mean crops could be grown in more places – in more urban areas, perhaps.

    “Using artificial photosynthesis approaches to produce food could be a paradigm shift for how we feed people,” says Jinkerson. “By increasing the efficiency of food production, less land is needed, lessening the impact agriculture has on the environment.”

    “And for agriculture in non-traditional environments, like outer space, the increased energy efficiency could help feed more crew members with less inputs.”

    The research has been published in Nature Food.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of California-Riverside Campus

    The University of California-Riverside is a public land-grant research university in Riverside, California. It is one of the 10 campuses of The University of California system. The main campus sits on 1,900 acres (769 ha) in a suburban district of Riverside with a branch campus of 20 acres (8 ha) in Palm Desert. In 1907, the predecessor to The University of California-Riverside was founded as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside which pioneered research in biological pest control and the use of growth regulators responsible for extending the citrus growing season in California from four to nine months. Some of the world’s most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as science fiction and photography, are located at Riverside.

    The University of California-Riverside ‘s undergraduate College of Letters and Science opened in 1954. The Regents of the University of California declared The University of California-Riverside a general campus of the system in 1959, and graduate students were admitted in 1961. To accommodate an enrollment of 21,000 students by 2015, more than $730 million has been invested in new construction projects since 1999. Preliminary accreditation of the The University of California-Riverside School of Medicine was granted in October 2012 and the first class of 50 students was enrolled in August 2013. It is the first new research-based public medical school in 40 years.

    The University of California-Riverside is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.” The 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings places UC-Riverside tied for 35th among top public universities and ranks 85th nationwide. Over 27 of The University of California-Riverside ‘s academic programs, including the Graduate School of Education and the Bourns College of Engineering, are highly ranked nationally based on peer assessment, student selectivity, financial resources, and other factors. Washington Monthly ranked The University of California-Riverside 2nd in the United States in terms of social mobility, research and community service, while U.S. News ranks The University of California-Riverside as the fifth most ethnically diverse and, by the number of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants (42 percent), the 15th most economically diverse student body in the nation. Over 70% of all The University of California-Riverside students graduate within six years without regard to economic disparity. The University of California-Riverside ‘s extensive outreach and retention programs have contributed to its reputation as a “university of choice” for minority students. In 2005, The University of California-Riverside became the first public university campus in the nation to offer a gender-neutral housing option. The University of California-Riverside’s sports teams are known as the Highlanders and play in the Big West Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Their nickname was inspired by the high altitude of the campus, which lies on the foothills of Box Springs Mountain. The University of California-Riverside women’s basketball team won back-to-back Big West championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the men’s baseball team won its first conference championship and advanced to the regionals for the second time since the university moved to Division I in 2001.

    History

    At the turn of the 20th century, Southern California was a major producer of citrus, the region’s primary agricultural export. The industry developed from the country’s first navel orange trees, planted in Riverside in 1873. Lobbied by the citrus industry, the University of California Regents established the UC Citrus Experiment Station (CES) on February 14, 1907, on 23 acres (9 ha) of land on the east slope of Mount Rubidoux in Riverside. The station conducted experiments in fertilization, irrigation and crop improvement. In 1917, the station was moved to a larger site, 475 acres (192 ha) near Box Springs Mountain.

    The 1944 passage of the GI Bill during World War II set in motion a rise in college enrollments that necessitated an expansion of the state university system in California. A local group of citrus growers and civic leaders, including many University of California-Berkeley alumni, lobbied aggressively for a University of California -administered liberal arts college next to the CES. State Senator Nelson S. Dilworth authored Senate Bill 512 (1949) which former Assemblyman Philip L. Boyd and Assemblyman John Babbage (both of Riverside) were instrumental in shepherding through the State Legislature. Governor Earl Warren signed the bill in 1949, allocating $2 million for initial campus construction.

    Gordon S. Watkins, dean of the College of Letters and Science at The University of California-Los Angeles, became the first provost of the new college at Riverside. Initially conceived of as a small college devoted to the liberal arts, he ordered the campus built for a maximum of 1,500 students and recruited many young junior faculty to fill teaching positions. He presided at its opening with 65 faculty and 127 students on February 14, 1954, remarking, “Never have so few been taught by so many.”

    The University of California-Riverside’s enrollment exceeded 1,000 students by the time Clark Kerr became president of the University of California system in 1958. Anticipating a “tidal wave” in enrollment growth required by the baby boom generation, Kerr developed the California Master Plan for Higher Education and the Regents designated Riverside a general university campus in 1959. The University of California-Riverside’s first chancellor, Herman Theodore Spieth, oversaw the beginnings of the school’s transition to a full university and its expansion to a capacity of 5,000 students. The University of California-Riverside’s second chancellor, Ivan Hinderaker led the campus through the era of the free speech movement and kept student protests peaceful in Riverside. According to a 1998 interview with Hinderaker, the city of Riverside received negative press coverage for smog after the mayor asked Governor Ronald Reagan to declare the South Coast Air Basin a disaster area in 1971; subsequent student enrollment declined by up to 25% through 1979. Hinderaker’s development of innovative programs in business administration and biomedical sciences created incentive for enough students to enroll at University of California-Riverside to keep the campus open.

    In the 1990s, The University of California-Riverside experienced a new surge of enrollment applications, now known as “Tidal Wave II”. The Regents targeted The University of California-Riverside for an annual growth rate of 6.3%, the fastest in The University of California system, and anticipated 19,900 students at The University of California-Riverside by 2010. By 1995, African American, American Indian, and Latino student enrollments accounted for 30% of The University of California-Riverside student body, the highest proportion of any University of California campus at the time. The 1997 implementation of Proposition 209—which banned the use of affirmative action by state agencies—reduced the ethnic diversity at the more selective UC campuses but further increased it at The University of California-Riverside.

    With The University of California-Riverside scheduled for dramatic population growth, efforts have been made to increase its popular and academic recognition. The students voted for a fee increase to move The University of California-Riverside athletics into NCAA Division I standing in 1998. In the 1990s, proposals were made to establish a law school, a medical school, and a school of public policy at The University of California-Riverside, with The University of California-Riverside School of Medicine and the School of Public Policy becoming reality in 2012. In June 2006, The University of California-Riverside received its largest gift, 15.5 million from two local couples, in trust towards building its medical school. The Regents formally approved The University of California-Riverside’s medical school proposal in 2006. Upon its completion in 2013, it was the first new medical school built in California in 40 years.

    Academics

    As a campus of The University of California system, The University of California-Riverside is governed by a Board of Regents and administered by a president University of California-Riverside ‘s academic policies are set by its Academic Senate, a legislative body composed of all UC-Riverside faculty members.

    The University of California-Riverside is organized into three academic colleges, two professional schools, and two graduate schools. The University of California-Riverside’s liberal arts college, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, was founded in 1954, and began accepting graduate students in 1960. The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, founded in 1960, incorporated the CES as part of the first research-oriented institution at The University of California-Riverside; it eventually also incorporated the natural science departments formerly associated with the liberal arts college to form its present structure in 1974. The University of California-Riverside ‘s newest academic unit, the Bourns College of Engineering, was founded in 1989. Comprising the professional schools are the Graduate School of Education, founded in 1968, and The University of California-Riverside School of Business, founded in 1970. These units collectively provide 81 majors and 52 minors, 48 master’s degree programs, and 42 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. The University of California-Riverside is the only UC campus to offer undergraduate degrees in creative writing and public policy and one of three UCs (along with The University of California-Berkeley and The University of California-Irvine) to offer an undergraduate degree in business administration. Through its Division of Biomedical Sciences, founded in 1974, The University of California-Riverside offers the Thomas Haider medical degree program in collaboration with The University of California-Los Angeles. The University of California-Riverside ‘s doctoral program in the emerging field of dance theory, founded in 1992, was the first program of its kind in the United States, and The University of California-Riverside ‘s minor in lesbian, gay and bisexual studies, established in 1996, was the first undergraduate program of its kind in the University of California system. A new BA program in bagpipes was inaugurated in 2007.

    Research and economic impact

    The University of California-Riverside operated under a $727 million budget in fiscal year 2014–15. The state government provided $214 million, student fees accounted for $224 million and $100 million came from contracts and grants. Private support and other sources accounted for the remaining $189 million. Overall, monies spent at The University of California-Riverside have an economic impact of nearly $1 billion in California. The University of California-Riverside research expenditure in FY 2018 totaled $167.8 million. Total research expenditures at The University of California-Riverside are significantly concentrated in agricultural science, accounting for 53% of total research expenditures spent by the university in 2002. Top research centers by expenditure, as measured in 2002, include the Agricultural Experiment Station; the Center for Environmental Research and Technology; the Center for Bibliographical Studies; the Air Pollution Research Center; and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

    Throughout The University of California-Riverside ‘s history, researchers have developed more than 40 new citrus varieties and invented new techniques to help the $960 million-a-year California citrus industry fight pests and diseases. In 1927, entomologists at the CES introduced two wasps from Australia as natural enemies of a major citrus pest, the citrophilus mealybug, saving growers in Orange County $1 million in annual losses. This event was pivotal in establishing biological control as a practical means of reducing pest populations. In 1963, plant physiologist Charles Coggins proved that application of gibberellic acid allows fruit to remain on citrus trees for extended periods. The ultimate result of his work, which continued through the 1980s, was the extension of the citrus-growing season in California from four to nine months. In 1980, The University of California-Riverside released the Oroblanco grapefruit, its first patented citrus variety. Since then, the citrus breeding program has released other varieties such as the Melogold grapefruit, the Gold Nugget mandarin (or tangerine), and others that have yet to be given trademark names.

    To assist entrepreneurs in developing new products, The University of California-Riverside is a primary partner in the Riverside Regional Technology Park, which includes the City of Riverside and the County of Riverside. It also administers six reserves of the University of California Natural Reserve System. UC-Riverside recently announced a partnership with China Agricultural University[中国农业大学](CN) to launch a new center in Beijing, which will study ways to respond to the country’s growing environmental issues. University of California-Riverside can also boast the birthplace of two-name reactions in organic chemistry, the Castro-Stephens coupling and the Midland Alpine Borane Reduction.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:59 pm on May 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Discovery about coral-algal symbiosis could help coral reefs recover after bleaching events", Although photosynthesis by algae is a key part of the symbiotic relationship it is not required to initiate symbiosis., , , Corals; sea anemones and jellyfish belong to a group of animals-cnidarians-that receive some of their nutrients through a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae living inside their cells., , High ocean temperature causes a breakdown in the symbiosis resulting in a ‘bleached’ coral that has expelled the algae. If symbiosis is not initiated within a few weeks the coral will starve., In return the algae receive nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from the prey that the host catches., , Photosynthesis, Some species of coral are completely dependent on the food they receive from their algal symbionts and will die without it., The research could lead to strategies that might prevent warmer oceans from breaking the symbiotic relationship between the two organisms and saving what remains of the world’s corals.,   

    From The University of California-Riverside: “Discovery about coral-algal symbiosis could help coral reefs recover after bleaching events” 

    UC Riverside bloc

    From The University of California-Riverside

    May 2, 2022

    Holly Ober
    Senior Public Information Officer
    (951) 827-5893
    holly.ober@ucr.edu

    1
    Fluorescence image of coral Acropora juvenile polyps hosting the symbiotic Symbiodiniaceae (Breviolum minutum) algae, shown as red dots. Green color is the endogenous green fluorescence from corals. Credit: Robert Jinkerson/Tingting Xiang.

    Algae’s ability to establish symbiosis in coral without photosynthesis could help fight coral bleaching.

    Corals are keystone species for reef and marine ecosystems but coral bleaching due to climate change and ocean warming is killing them. A new open access study [Current Biology] by researchers at the University of California-Riverside, aims to shed light on how to reverse the damage and save corals.

    Corals, together with sea anemones and jellyfish, belong to a group of animals called cnidarians that receive some of their nutrients through a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae living inside their cells. High ocean temperatures cause a breakdown in the symbiosis resulting in a ‘bleached’ coral that has expelled the algae. If symbiosis is not initiated within a few weeks, the coral will starve to death.

    The new study finds that although photosynthesis by algae is a key part of the symbiotic relationship it is not required to initiate symbiosis. The discovery adds to the little-understood relationship between cnidarians and algae at the molecular level and offers insight into how to jump start the symbiotic relationship between the two organisms after a bleaching event. It could also lead to strategies that might prevent warmer oceans from breaking the symbiotic relationship between the two organisms and saving what remains of the world’s corals.

    Cnidarians form a mutualistic symbiosis with photosynthetic algae from the dinoflagellate family Symbiodiniaceae that live inside of their host cells. The algae perform photosynthesis, fix carbon dioxide into sugars, and then give that to their hosts. Some species of coral are completely dependent on the food they receive from their algal symbionts and will die without it.

    In return the algae receive nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from the prey that the host catches. Photosynthesis is a key part of this symbiotic relationship, but it was not known if this symbiosis can form without photosynthesis.

    Robert Jinkerson, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at UCR, and Tingting Xiang, an assistant professor of biological sciences at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, led a team to make the first mutants in Symbiodiniaceae algae—isolate mutants that lacked the ability to photosynthesize—and use these mutants to investigate symbiosis with cnidarians.

    “We were very excited to be able to generate six photosynthetic mutants and then use those mutants to start to probe the symbiosis between these algae and their hosts,” Jinkerson said.

    The team introduced the mutant algae into seawater tanks that contained sea anemones (Exaiptasia pallida) that had not yet established symbiosis with any algae. After just one day the algae could already be found within the sea anemone’s tentacles, even without photosynthesis.

    To learn if the algae could survive in sea anemone host tissue without photosynthesis for longer periods of time, the researchers infected some sea anemones in darkness with mutant and non-mutant algae and kept them in darkness for six months. Even after six months, algal cells were still observable in the sea anemone’s tissues. Although able to infect the host cells and maintain itself for six months, the algae did not reproduce and proliferate in number.

    The group also tested four other species of algae known to form symbiotic relationships with the sea anemones and found that they too could initiate symbiosis in the dark.

    Jinkerson, Xiang, and their colleague Masayuki Hatta in Japan then introduced the algae in darkness into a tank containing juvenile polyps of a stony coral, Acropora tenuis. The algae infected the coral successfully in the dark. Unexpectedly, the algae were able to proliferate in the coral tissues without photosynthesis, something not observed in the sea anemones.

    Finally, to learn if the pattern held true for the third member of the cnidarian group, the researchers added the algae to a darkened tank of upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana) polyps. Once again, the algae infected the polyps, though not as successfully as in the sea anemone and coral.

    Symbiosis establishment can proceed without photosynthesis in coral, jellyfish, and sea anemone hosts, but different aspects of the relationship, such as proliferation of the algae without photosynthesis, depends on the specific host–algae relationship.

    “Our study highlights the power of forward genetic approaches to probe cnidarian Symbiodiniaceae symbiosis and provides a promising platform to answer key questions in symbiosis and ultimately develop strategies to save corals,” said Xiang.

    The discovery that photosynthesis is not essential to begin symbiotic relationships is a step toward finding ways to help cnidarians survive climate change.

    “Time is of the essence regarding the protection of the coral reefs, and our hope is that these mutants will allow ourselves and others to increase the overall pace towards this goal,” said co-author Joseph Russo, a doctoral student in Jinkerson’s lab.

    Jinkerson, Xiang, Hatta, and Russo were joined in the research by Casandra R. Newkirk, Andrea L. Kirk, Richard J. Chi, Mark Q. Martindale, and Arthur R. Grossman.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    University of California-Riverside Campus

    The University of California-Riverside is a public land-grant research university in Riverside, California. It is one of the 10 campuses of The University of California system. The main campus sits on 1,900 acres (769 ha) in a suburban district of Riverside with a branch campus of 20 acres (8 ha) in Palm Desert. In 1907, the predecessor to The University of California-Riverside was founded as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside which pioneered research in biological pest control and the use of growth regulators responsible for extending the citrus growing season in California from four to nine months. Some of the world’s most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as science fiction and photography, are located at Riverside.

    The University of California-Riverside ‘s undergraduate College of Letters and Science opened in 1954. The Regents of the University of California declared The University of California-Riverside a general campus of the system in 1959, and graduate students were admitted in 1961. To accommodate an enrollment of 21,000 students by 2015, more than $730 million has been invested in new construction projects since 1999. Preliminary accreditation of the The University of California-Riverside School of Medicine was granted in October 2012 and the first class of 50 students was enrolled in August 2013. It is the first new research-based public medical school in 40 years.

    The University of California-Riverside is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.” The 2019 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings places UC-Riverside tied for 35th among top public universities and ranks 85th nationwide. Over 27 of The University of California-Riverside ‘s academic programs, including the Graduate School of Education and the Bourns College of Engineering, are highly ranked nationally based on peer assessment, student selectivity, financial resources, and other factors. Washington Monthly ranked The University of California-Riverside 2nd in the United States in terms of social mobility, research and community service, while U.S. News ranks The University of California-Riverside as the fifth most ethnically diverse and, by the number of undergraduates receiving Pell Grants (42 percent), the 15th most economically diverse student body in the nation. Over 70% of all The University of California-Riverside students graduate within six years without regard to economic disparity. The University of California-Riverside ‘s extensive outreach and retention programs have contributed to its reputation as a “university of choice” for minority students. In 2005, The University of California-Riverside became the first public university campus in the nation to offer a gender-neutral housing option. The University of California-Riverside’s sports teams are known as the Highlanders and play in the Big West Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Their nickname was inspired by the high altitude of the campus, which lies on the foothills of Box Springs Mountain. The University of California-Riverside women’s basketball team won back-to-back Big West championships in 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the men’s baseball team won its first conference championship and advanced to the regionals for the second time since the university moved to Division I in 2001.

    History

    At the turn of the 20th century, Southern California was a major producer of citrus, the region’s primary agricultural export. The industry developed from the country’s first navel orange trees, planted in Riverside in 1873. Lobbied by the citrus industry, the University of California Regents established the UC Citrus Experiment Station (CES) on February 14, 1907, on 23 acres (9 ha) of land on the east slope of Mount Rubidoux in Riverside. The station conducted experiments in fertilization, irrigation and crop improvement. In 1917, the station was moved to a larger site, 475 acres (192 ha) near Box Springs Mountain.

    The 1944 passage of the GI Bill during World War II set in motion a rise in college enrollments that necessitated an expansion of the state university system in California. A local group of citrus growers and civic leaders, including many University of California-Berkeley alumni, lobbied aggressively for a University of California -administered liberal arts college next to the CES. State Senator Nelson S. Dilworth authored Senate Bill 512 (1949) which former Assemblyman Philip L. Boyd and Assemblyman John Babbage (both of Riverside) were instrumental in shepherding through the State Legislature. Governor Earl Warren signed the bill in 1949, allocating $2 million for initial campus construction.

    Gordon S. Watkins, dean of the College of Letters and Science at The University of California-Los Angeles, became the first provost of the new college at Riverside. Initially conceived of as a small college devoted to the liberal arts, he ordered the campus built for a maximum of 1,500 students and recruited many young junior faculty to fill teaching positions. He presided at its opening with 65 faculty and 127 students on February 14, 1954, remarking, “Never have so few been taught by so many.”

    The University of California-Riverside’s enrollment exceeded 1,000 students by the time Clark Kerr became president of the University of California system in 1958. Anticipating a “tidal wave” in enrollment growth required by the baby boom generation, Kerr developed the California Master Plan for Higher Education and the Regents designated Riverside a general university campus in 1959. The University of California-Riverside’s first chancellor, Herman Theodore Spieth, oversaw the beginnings of the school’s transition to a full university and its expansion to a capacity of 5,000 students. The University of California-Riverside’s second chancellor, Ivan Hinderaker led the campus through the era of the free speech movement and kept student protests peaceful in Riverside. According to a 1998 interview with Hinderaker, the city of Riverside received negative press coverage for smog after the mayor asked Governor Ronald Reagan to declare the South Coast Air Basin a disaster area in 1971; subsequent student enrollment declined by up to 25% through 1979. Hinderaker’s development of innovative programs in business administration and biomedical sciences created incentive for enough students to enroll at University of California-Riverside to keep the campus open.

    In the 1990s, The University of California-Riverside experienced a new surge of enrollment applications, now known as “Tidal Wave II”. The Regents targeted The University of California-Riverside for an annual growth rate of 6.3%, the fastest in The University of California system, and anticipated 19,900 students at The University of California-Riverside by 2010. By 1995, African American, American Indian, and Latino student enrollments accounted for 30% of The University of California-Riverside student body, the highest proportion of any University of California campus at the time. The 1997 implementation of Proposition 209—which banned the use of affirmative action by state agencies—reduced the ethnic diversity at the more selective UC campuses but further increased it at The University of California-Riverside.

    With The University of California-Riverside scheduled for dramatic population growth, efforts have been made to increase its popular and academic recognition. The students voted for a fee increase to move The University of California-Riverside athletics into NCAA Division I standing in 1998. In the 1990s, proposals were made to establish a law school, a medical school, and a school of public policy at The University of California-Riverside, with The University of California-Riverside School of Medicine and the School of Public Policy becoming reality in 2012. In June 2006, The University of California-Riverside received its largest gift, 15.5 million from two local couples, in trust towards building its medical school. The Regents formally approved The University of California-Riverside’s medical school proposal in 2006. Upon its completion in 2013, it was the first new medical school built in California in 40 years.

    Academics

    As a campus of The University of California system, The University of California-Riverside is governed by a Board of Regents and administered by a president University of California-Riverside ‘s academic policies are set by its Academic Senate, a legislative body composed of all UC-Riverside faculty members.

    The University of California-Riverside is organized into three academic colleges, two professional schools, and two graduate schools. The University of California-Riverside’s liberal arts college, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, was founded in 1954, and began accepting graduate students in 1960. The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, founded in 1960, incorporated the CES as part of the first research-oriented institution at The University of California-Riverside; it eventually also incorporated the natural science departments formerly associated with the liberal arts college to form its present structure in 1974. The University of California-Riverside ‘s newest academic unit, the Bourns College of Engineering, was founded in 1989. Comprising the professional schools are the Graduate School of Education, founded in 1968, and The University of California-Riverside School of Business, founded in 1970. These units collectively provide 81 majors and 52 minors, 48 master’s degree programs, and 42 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. The University of California-Riverside is the only UC campus to offer undergraduate degrees in creative writing and public policy and one of three UCs (along with The University of California-Berkeley and The University of California-Irvine) to offer an undergraduate degree in business administration. Through its Division of Biomedical Sciences, founded in 1974, The University of California-Riverside offers the Thomas Haider medical degree program in collaboration with The University of California-Los Angeles. The University of California-Riverside ‘s doctoral program in the emerging field of dance theory, founded in 1992, was the first program of its kind in the United States, and The University of California-Riverside ‘s minor in lesbian, gay and bisexual studies, established in 1996, was the first undergraduate program of its kind in the University of California system. A new BA program in bagpipes was inaugurated in 2007.

    Research and economic impact

    The University of California-Riverside operated under a $727 million budget in fiscal year 2014–15. The state government provided $214 million, student fees accounted for $224 million and $100 million came from contracts and grants. Private support and other sources accounted for the remaining $189 million. Overall, monies spent at The University of California-Riverside have an economic impact of nearly $1 billion in California. The University of California-Riverside research expenditure in FY 2018 totaled $167.8 million. Total research expenditures at The University of California-Riverside are significantly concentrated in agricultural science, accounting for 53% of total research expenditures spent by the university in 2002. Top research centers by expenditure, as measured in 2002, include the Agricultural Experiment Station; the Center for Environmental Research and Technology; the Center for Bibliographical Studies; the Air Pollution Research Center; and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

    Throughout The University of California-Riverside ‘s history, researchers have developed more than 40 new citrus varieties and invented new techniques to help the $960 million-a-year California citrus industry fight pests and diseases. In 1927, entomologists at the CES introduced two wasps from Australia as natural enemies of a major citrus pest, the citrophilus mealybug, saving growers in Orange County $1 million in annual losses. This event was pivotal in establishing biological control as a practical means of reducing pest populations. In 1963, plant physiologist Charles Coggins proved that application of gibberellic acid allows fruit to remain on citrus trees for extended periods. The ultimate result of his work, which continued through the 1980s, was the extension of the citrus-growing season in California from four to nine months. In 1980, The University of California-Riverside released the Oroblanco grapefruit, its first patented citrus variety. Since then, the citrus breeding program has released other varieties such as the Melogold grapefruit, the Gold Nugget mandarin (or tangerine), and others that have yet to be given trademark names.

    To assist entrepreneurs in developing new products, The University of California-Riverside is a primary partner in the Riverside Regional Technology Park, which includes the City of Riverside and the County of Riverside. It also administers six reserves of the University of California Natural Reserve System. UC-Riverside recently announced a partnership with China Agricultural University[中国农业大学](CN) to launch a new center in Beijing, which will study ways to respond to the country’s growing environmental issues. University of California-Riverside can also boast the birthplace of two-name reactions in organic chemistry, the Castro-Stephens coupling and the Midland Alpine Borane Reduction.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:11 pm on April 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How a soil microbe could rev up artificial photosynthesis", , , Carbon fixation: turning carbon dioxide from the air into carbon-rich biomolecules, Carbon fixing champs are not plants but soil bacteria., , , Photosynthesis, Researchers discover that a spot of molecular glue and a timely twist help a bacterial enzyme convert carbon dioxide into carbon compounds 20 times faster than plant enzymes do during photosynthesis., , The enzyme the team studied is part of a family called enoyl-CoA carboxylases/reductases or ECRs.   

    From The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory: “How a soil microbe could rev up artificial photosynthesis” 

    From The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

    April 29, 2022
    Glennda Chui

    Researchers discover that a spot of molecular glue and a timely twist help a bacterial enzyme convert carbon dioxide into carbon compounds 20 times faster than plant enzymes do during photosynthesis. The results stand to accelerate progress toward converting carbon dioxide into a variety of products.

    1
    This depiction of ECR, an enzyme found in soil bacteria, shows each of its four identical molecules in a different color. These molecules work together in pairs – blue with white and green with orange – to turn carbon dioxide from the microbe’s environment into biomolecules it needs to survive. A new study shows that a spot of molecular glue and a timely swing and twist allow these pairs to sync their motions and fix carbon 20 times faster than plant enzymes do during photosynthesis. (H. DeMirci et al., ACS Central Science, 2022)

    Plants rely on a process called carbon fixation – turning carbon dioxide from the air into carbon-rich biomolecules ­– for their very existence. That’s the whole point of photosynthesis, and a cornerstone of the vast interlocking system that cycles carbon through plants, animals, microbes and the atmosphere to sustain life on Earth.

    But the carbon fixing champs are not plants but soil bacteria. Some bacterial enzymes carry out a key step in carbon fixation 20 times faster than plant enzymes do, and figuring out how they do this could help scientists develop forms of artificial photosynthesis to convert the greenhouse gas into fuels, fertilizers, antibiotics and other products.

    Now a team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, The MPG Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology [Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie] (DE), The DOE’s Joint Genome Institute and The University of Concepción [Universidad de Concepción] (CL) has discovered how a bacterial enzyme – a molecular machine that facilitates chemical reactions – revs up to perform this feat.

    Rather than grabbing carbon dioxide molecules and attaching them to biomolecules one at a time, they found, this enzyme consists of pairs of molecules that work in sync, like the hands of a juggler who simultaneously tosses and catches balls, to get the job done faster. One member of each enzyme pair opens wide to catch a set of reaction ingredients while the other closes over its captured ingredients and carries out the carbon-fixing reaction; then, they switch roles in a continual cycle.

    A single spot of molecular “glue” holds each pair of enzymatic hands together so they can alternate opening and closing in a coordinated way, the team discovered, while a twisting motion helps hustle ingredients and finished products in and out of the pockets where the reactions take place. When both glue and twist are present, the carbon-fixing reaction goes 100 times faster than without them.

    “This bacterial enzyme is the most efficient carbon fixer that we know of, and we came up with a neat explanation of what it can do,” said Soichi Wakatsuki, a professor at SLAC and Stanford and one of the senior leaders of the study, which was published in ACS Central Science this week.

    “Some of the enzymes in this family act slowly but in a very specific way to produce just one product,” he said. “Others are much faster and can craft chemical building blocks for all sorts of products. Now that we know the mechanism, we can engineer enzymes that combine the best features of both approaches and do a very fast job with all sorts of starting materials.”

    2
    This animation shows two of the paired molecules (blue and white) within the ECR enzyme, which fixes carbon in soil microbes, in action. They work together, like the hands of a juggler who simultaneously tosses and catches balls, to get the job done faster. One member of each enzyme pair opens wide to catch a set of reaction ingredients (shown coming in from top and bottom) while the other closes over its captured ingredients and carries out the carbon-fixing reaction; then, they switch roles in a continual cycle. Scientists are trying to harness and improve these reactions for artificial photosynthesis to make a variety of products. (H. DeMirci et al., ACS Central Science, 2022)

    Improving on nature

    The enzyme the team studied is part of a family called enoyl-CoA carboxylases/reductases, or ECRs. It comes from soil bacteria called Kitasatospora setae, which in addition to their carbon-fixing skills can also produce antibiotics.

    Wakatsuki heard about this enzyme family half a dozen years ago from Tobias Erb of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Germany and Yasuo Yoshikuni of JGI. Erb’s research team had been working to develop bioreactors for artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere into all sorts of products.

    As important as photosynthesis is to life on Earth, Erb said, it isn’t very efficient. Like all things shaped by evolution over the eons, it’s only as good as it needs to be, the result of slowly building on previous developments but never inventing something entirely new from scratch.

    What’s more, he said, the step in natural photosynthesis that fixes CO2 from the air, which relies on an enzyme called Rubisco, is a bottleneck that bogs the whole chain of photosynthetic reactions down. So using speedy ECR enzymes to carry out this step, and engineering them to go even faster, could bring a big boost in efficiency.

    “We aren’t trying to make a carbon copy of photosynthesis,” Erb explained. “We want to design a process that’s much more efficient by using our understanding of engineering to rebuild the concepts of nature. This ‘photosynthesis 2.0’ could take place in living or synthetic systems such as artificial chloroplasts – droplets of water [Science] suspended in oil.”

    3
    A close-up look at Kitasatospora setae, a bacterium isolated from soil in Japan. These bacteria fix carbon – turn carbon dioxide from their environment into biomolecules they need to survive – thanks to enzymes called ECRs. Researchers are looking for ways to harness and improve ECRs for artificial photosynthesis to produce fuels, antibiotics and other products. (Y. Takahashi & Y. Iwai, atlas.actino.jp)

    Portraits of an enzyme

    Wakatsuki and his group had been investigating a related system, nitrogen fixation, which converts nitrogen gas from the atmosphere into compounds that living things need. Intrigued by the question of why ECR enzymes were so fast, he started collaborating with Erb’s group to find answers.

    Hasan DeMirci, a research associate in Wakatsuki’s group who is now an assistant professor at Koç University[Koç Üniversitesi](TR) and investigator with the Stanford PULSE Institute, led the effort at SLAC with help from half a dozen SLAC summer interns he supervised. “We train six or seven of them every year, and they were fearless,” he said. “They came with open minds, ready to learn, and they did amazing things.”

    The SLAC team made samples of the ECR enzyme and crystallized them for examination with X-rays at the Advanced Photon Source at The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    The X-rays revealed the molecular structure of the enzyme – the arrangement of its atomic scaffolding – both on its own and when attached to a small helper molecule that facilitates its work.

    Further X-ray studies at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) [below] showed how the enzyme’s structure shifted when it attached to a substrate, a kind of molecular workbench that assembles ingredients for the carbon fixing reaction and spurs the reaction along.

    Finally, a team of researchers from SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) [below] carried out more detailed studies of the enzyme and its substrate at Japan’s SACLA X-ray free-electron laser.

    The choice of an X-ray laser was important because it allowed them to study the enzyme’s behavior at room temperature – closer to its natural environment – with almost no radiation damage.

    Meanwhile, Erb’s group in Germany and Associate Professor Esteban Vöhringer-Martinez’s group at the University of Concepción in Chile carried out detailed biochemical studies and extensive dynamic simulations to make sense of the structural data collected by Wakatsuki and his team.

    The simulations revealed that the opening and closing of the enzyme’s two parts don’t just involve molecular glue, but also twisting motions around the central axis of each enzyme pair, Wakatsuki said.

    “This twist is almost like a rachet that can push a finished product out or pull a new set of ingredients into the pocket where the reaction takes place,” he said. Together, the twisting and synchronization of the enzyme pairs allow them to fix carbon 100 times a second.

    The ECR enzyme family also includes a more versatile branch that can interact with many different kinds of biomolecules to produce a variety of products. But since they aren’t held together by molecular glue, they can’t coordinate their movements and therefore operate much more slowly.

    “If we can increase the rate of those sophisticated reactions to make new biomolecules,” Wakatsuki said, “that would be a significant jump in the field.”

    From static shots to fluid movies

    So far the experiments have produced static snapshots of the enzyme, the reaction ingredients and the final products in various configurations.

    “Our dream experiment,” Wakatsuki said, “would be to combine all the ingredients as they flow into the path of the X-ray laser beam so we could watch the reaction take place in real time.”

    The team actually tried that at SACLA, he said, but it didn’t work. “The CO2 molecules are really small, and they move so fast that it’s hard to catch the moment when they attach to the substrate,” he said. “Plus the X-ray laser beam is so strong that we couldn’t keep the ingredients in it long enough for the reaction to take place. When we pressed hard to do this, we managed to break the crystals.”

    An upcoming high-energy upgrade to LCLS (LCLS-II) will likely solve that problem, he added, with pulses that arrive much more frequently – a million times per second – and can be individually adjusted to the ideal strength for each sample.

    Wakatsuki said his team continues to collaborate with Erb’s group, and it’s working with the LCLS sample delivery group and with researchers at the SLAC-Stanford cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) facilities to find a way to make this approach work.

    Researchers from the RIKEN Spring-8 Center and Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute also contributed to this work, which received major funding from the DOE Office of Science. Much of the preliminary work for this study was carried out by SLAC summer intern Yash Rao; interns Brandon Hayes, E. Han Dao and Manat Kaur also made key contributions. DOE’s Joint Genome Institute provided the DNA used to produce the ECR samples. SSRL, LCLS, the Advanced Photon Source and the Joint Genome Institute are all DOE Office of Science user facilities.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory originally named Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, is a Department of Energy National Laboratory operated by Stanford University under the programmatic direction of the Department of Energy Office of Science and located in Menlo Park, California. It is the site of the Stanford Linear Accelerator, a 3.2 kilometer (2-mile) linear accelerator constructed in 1966 and shut down in the 2000s, which could accelerate electrons to energies of 50 GeV.
    Today SLAC research centers on a broad program in atomic and solid-state physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine using X-rays from synchrotron radiation and a free-electron laser as well as experimental and theoretical research in elementary particle physics, astroparticle physics, and cosmology.

    Founded in 1962 as the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the facility is located on 172 hectares (426 acres) of Stanford University-owned land on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California—just west of the University’s main campus. The main accelerator is 3.2 kilometers (2 mi) long—the longest linear accelerator in the world—and has been operational since 1966.

    Research at SLAC has produced three Nobel Prizes in Physics

    1976: The charm quark—see J/ψ meson
    1990: Quark structure inside protons and neutrons
    1995: The tau lepton

    SLAC’s meeting facilities also provided a venue for the Homebrew Computer Club and other pioneers of the home computer revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    In 1984 the laboratory was named an ASME National Historic Engineering Landmark and an IEEE Milestone.

    SLAC developed and, in December 1991, began hosting the first World Wide Web server outside of Europe.

    In the early-to-mid 1990s, the Stanford Linear Collider (SLC) investigated the properties of the Z boson using the Stanford Large Detector [below].

    As of 2005, SLAC employed over 1,000 people, some 150 of whom were physicists with doctorate degrees, and served over 3,000 visiting researchers yearly, operating particle accelerators for high-energy physics and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL) [below] for synchrotron light radiation research, which was “indispensable” in the research leading to the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Stanford Professor Roger D. Kornberg.

    In October 2008, the Department of Energy announced that the center’s name would be changed to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The reasons given include a better representation of the new direction of the lab and the ability to trademark the laboratory’s name. Stanford University had legally opposed the Department of Energy’s attempt to trademark “Stanford Linear Accelerator Center”.

    In March 2009, it was announced that the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory was to receive $68.3 million in Recovery Act Funding to be disbursed by Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

    In October 2016, Bits and Watts launched as a collaboration between SLAC and Stanford University to design “better, greener electric grids”. SLAC later pulled out over concerns about an industry partner, the state-owned Chinese electric utility.

    Accelerator

    The main accelerator was an RF linear accelerator that accelerated electrons and positrons up to 50 GeV. At 3.2 km (2.0 mi) long, the accelerator was the longest linear accelerator in the world, and was claimed to be “the world’s most straight object.” until 2017 when the European x-ray free electron laser opened. The main accelerator is buried 9 m (30 ft) below ground and passes underneath Interstate Highway 280. The above-ground klystron gallery atop the beamline, was the longest building in the United States until the LIGO project’s twin interferometers were completed in 1999. It is easily distinguishable from the air and is marked as a visual waypoint on aeronautical charts.

    A portion of the original linear accelerator is now part of the Linac Coherent Light Source [below].

    Stanford Linear Collider

    The Stanford Linear Collider was a linear accelerator that collided electrons and positrons at SLAC. The center of mass energy was about 90 GeV, equal to the mass of the Z boson, which the accelerator was designed to study. Grad student Barrett D. Milliken discovered the first Z event on 12 April 1989 while poring over the previous day’s computer data from the Mark II detector. The bulk of the data was collected by the SLAC Large Detector, which came online in 1991. Although largely overshadowed by the Large Electron–Positron Collider at CERN, which began running in 1989, the highly polarized electron beam at SLC (close to 80%) made certain unique measurements possible, such as parity violation in Z Boson-b quark coupling.


    Presently no beam enters the south and north arcs in the machine, which leads to the Final Focus, therefore this section is mothballed to run beam into the PEP2 section from the beam switchyard.

    The SLAC Large Detector (SLD) was the main detector for the Stanford Linear Collider. It was designed primarily to detect Z bosons produced by the accelerator’s electron-positron collisions. Built in 1991, the SLD operated from 1992 to 1998.

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Large Detector

    PEP

    PEP (Positron-Electron Project) began operation in 1980, with center-of-mass energies up to 29 GeV. At its apex, PEP had five large particle detectors in operation, as well as a sixth smaller detector. About 300 researchers made used of PEP. PEP stopped operating in 1990, and PEP-II began construction in 1994.

    PEP-II

    From 1999 to 2008, the main purpose of the linear accelerator was to inject electrons and positrons into the PEP-II accelerator, an electron-positron collider with a pair of storage rings 2.2 km (1.4 mi) in circumference. PEP-II was host to the BaBar experiment, one of the so-called B-Factory experiments studying charge-parity symmetry.

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryBaBar

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratorySSRL

    Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

    SLAC plays a primary role in the mission and operation of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched in August 2008. The principal scientific objectives of this mission are:

    To understand the mechanisms of particle acceleration in AGNs, pulsars, and SNRs.
    To resolve the gamma-ray sky: unidentified sources and diffuse emission.
    To determine the high-energy behavior of gamma-ray bursts and transients.
    To probe dark matter and fundamental physics.

    National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFermi Large Area Telescope

    National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope.

    KIPAC

    http://kipac.stanford.edu/kipac/campus

    The Stanford PULSE Institute (PULSE) is a Stanford Independent Laboratory located in the Central Laboratory at SLAC. PULSE was created by Stanford in 2005 to help Stanford faculty and SLAC scientists develop ultrafast x-ray research at LCLS.

    The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS)[below] is a free electron laser facility located at SLAC. The LCLS is partially a reconstruction of the last 1/3 of the original linear accelerator at SLAC, and can deliver extremely intense x-ray radiation for research in a number of areas. It achieved first lasing in April 2009.

    The laser produces hard X-rays, 10^9 times the relative brightness of traditional synchrotron sources and is the most powerful x-ray source in the world. LCLS enables a variety of new experiments and provides enhancements for existing experimental methods. Often, x-rays are used to take “snapshots” of objects at the atomic level before obliterating samples. The laser’s wavelength, ranging from 6.2 to 0.13 nm (200 to 9500 electron volts (eV)) is similar to the width of an atom, providing extremely detailed information that was previously unattainable. Additionally, the laser is capable of capturing images with a “shutter speed” measured in femtoseconds, or million-billionths of a second, necessary because the intensity of the beam is often high enough so that the sample explodes on the femtosecond timescale.

    The LCLS-II [below] project is to provide a major upgrade to LCLS by adding two new X-ray laser beams. The new system will utilize the 500 m (1,600 ft) of existing tunnel to add a new superconducting accelerator at 4 GeV and two new sets of undulators that will increase the available energy range of LCLS. The advancement from the discoveries using this new capabilities may include new drugs, next-generation computers, and new materials.

    FACET

    In 2012, the first two-thirds (~2 km) of the original SLAC LINAC were recommissioned for a new user facility, the Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET). This facility was capable of delivering 20 GeV, 3 nC electron (and positron) beams with short bunch lengths and small spot sizes, ideal for beam-driven plasma acceleration studies. The facility ended operations in 2016 for the constructions of LCLS-II which will occupy the first third of the SLAC LINAC. The FACET-II project will re-establish electron and positron beams in the middle third of the LINAC for the continuation of beam-driven plasma acceleration studies in 2019.

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryFACET

    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory FACET-II upgrading its Facility for Advanced Accelerator Experimental Tests (FACET) – a test bed for new technologies that could revolutionize the way we build particle accelerators.

    The Next Linear Collider Test Accelerator (NLCTA) is a 60-120 MeV high-brightness electron beam linear accelerator used for experiments on advanced beam manipulation and acceleration techniques. It is located at SLAC’s end station B

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryNext Linear Collider Test Accelerator (NLCTA)

    DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory campus

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryLCLS

    SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryLCLS II projected view

    Magnets called undulators stretch roughly 100 meters down a tunnel at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with one side (right) producing hard x-rays and the other soft x-rays.

    SSRL and LCLS are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:51 pm on January 29, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How Climate Change Will Affect Plants", , , As the impacts of climate change worsen how are higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer temperatures affecting the plant world?, Climate change is also expected to bring more combined heat waves and droughts., CO2 boosts plant productivity., , , Everything we eat consists of plants or animals that depend on plants somewhere along the food chain., , Hundreds of plant species are becoming deficient in nutrients particularly nitrogen., Photosynthesis, Plants also form the backbone of natural ecosystems and they absorb about 30 percent of all the carbon dioxide emitted by humans each year., Rising temperatures are also causing growing seasons to become longer and warmer., Several important crops: corn; sugar cane; sorghum and millet however are not as affected by increased CO2., Some crops such as wheat rice and soybeans are expected to benefit from increased CO2 with an increase in yields from 12 to 14 percent., Warmer winters and a longer growing season also help the pests; pathogens and invasive species that harm vegetation., We human beings need plants for our survival., Weeds- many of which thrive in heat and elevated CO2-already cause about 34 percent of crop losses.   

    Columbia University (US) – State of the Planet: “How Climate Change Will Affect Plants” 

    Columbia University (US) – State of the Planet

    at

    Columbia U bloc
    Columbia University (US)

    January 27, 2022
    Renee Cho

    1
    Photo: DM.

    We human beings need plants for our survival. Everything we eat consists of plants or animals that depend on plants somewhere along the food chain. Plants also form the backbone of natural ecosystems, and they absorb about 30 percent of all the carbon dioxide emitted by humans each year. But as the impacts of climate change worsen how are higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer temperatures affecting the plant world?

    CO2 boosts plant productivity

    Plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and water for photosynthesis to produce oxygen and carbohydrates that plants use for energy and growth.

    Rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere drive an increase in plant photosynthesis—an effect known as the “carbon fertilization effect”. New research has found that between 1982 and 2020, global plant photosynthesis grew 12 percent, tracking CO2 levels in the atmosphere as they rose 17 percent. The vast majority of this increase in photosynthesis was due to carbon dioxide fertilization.

    Increased photosynthesis results in more growth in some plants. Scientists have found that in response to elevated CO2 levels, above-ground plant growth increased an average of 21 percent, while below-ground growth increased 28 percent. As a result, some crops such as wheat rice and soybeans are expected to benefit from increased CO2 with an increase in yields from 12 to 14 percent. The growth of some tropical and sub-tropical grasses and several important crops, including corn, sugar cane, sorghum, and millet, however, are not as affected by increased CO2.

    Under elevated CO2 concentrations, plants use less water during photosynthesis. Plants have openings called stomata that allow CO2 to be absorbed and moisture to be released into the atmosphere. When CO2 levels rise, plants can maintain a high rate of photosynthesis and partially close their stomata, which can decrease a plant’s water loss between 5 and 20 percent. Scientists have speculated that this could result in plants releasing less water to the atmosphere, thus keeping more on land, in the soil and streams.

    But other factors count

    Elevated levels of CO2 from climate change may enable plants to benefit from the carbon fertilization effect and use less water to grow, but it’s not all good news for plants. It’s more complicated than that, because climate change is also impacting other factors critical to plants’ growth, such as nutrients, temperature, and water.

    Nitrogen limitations

    Researchers that studied [Nature Ecology & Evolution] hundreds of plant species between 1980 and 2017 found that most unfertilized terrestrial ecosystems are becoming deficient in nutrients, particularly nitrogen. They attributed this decrease in nutrients to global changes, including rising temperatures and CO2 levels.

    Nitrogen is the most abundant element on Earth, making up about 80 percent of the atmosphere. It is an essential element in DNA and RNA and is needed by plants to make carbohydrates and proteins for growth. However, plants cannot use the nitrogen gas found in the atmosphere because it has two atoms of nitrogen triply bonded together so tightly that they are difficult to break apart into a form plants can use. Lightning has enough energy to break the triple bond, a process called nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen is also fixed in the industrial process that produces fertilizer.

    But most nitrogen fixation occurs in the soil, where certain kinds of bacteria attach to the roots of plants, such as legumes. The bacteria get carbon from the plant and in a symbiotic exchange, fix the nitrogen, combining it with oxygen or hydrogen into compounds plants can use.

    Kevin Griffin, a professor in Columbia University’s Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology and The Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory – Columbia University (US), explained that most living things have a relatively fixed ratio between carbon and nitrogen. This means that if plants take up more CO2 to create carbohydrates because there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere, the amount of nitrogen in the leaves may be diluted, and a plant’s productivity depends on having enough nitrogen. “If you increase the CO2 around a leaf or around the plant or around the plot of forest, usually the productivity goes up,” he said. “But whether or not that increase in productivity lasts and is permanent, can be a function of whether you have [enough] nitrogen. So if nitrogen is limited, it could be that a plant just cannot use that extra CO2 and its boost in productivity can be short lived.”

    Trees currently absorb about a third of human-caused CO2 emissions, but their ability to continue to do this depends on how much nitrogen is available to them. If nitrogen is limited, the benefit of increased CO2 will be limited too.

    Earlier research on nitrogen fixation, based on measurements of free-living bacteria, had predicted that the fixation process works fastest at 25°C, and that as temperatures rose above 25°C, the rate of fixation would go down. In a warming world, this would have meant a runaway scenario where nitrogen fixing would decrease as temperatures rose, resulting in less plant productivity. Plants would then remove less CO2 from the atmosphere which would cause further warming and less nitrogen fixing, and so on. Griffin and his colleagues developed an instrument that enabled them to measure the temperature response of nitrogen on the bacteria that formed an association with the roots of plants, as opposed to on free-living bacteria.

    “What we found with our new instrument looking at whole-plant symbioses in temperate and tropical trees, was that the optimal temperature for nitrogen fixation was actually about 5°C higher than any of these previous estimates, and in some cases as much as 11°C higher. This needs to be tested over a huge number of plants, but if it holds, it means that the likelihood of nitrogen fixation decreasing is much lower than we thought, which means that plants could stay more productive and prevent the runaway scenario.”

    Rising temperatures

    Griffin’s work also found that the temperature response of nitrogen fixation is independent from the temperature response of photosynthesis, which involves enzymes made with nitrogen. Higher temperatures can make these enzymes less efficient. Rubisco is the key enzyme that helps turn carbon dioxide into carbohydrates in photosynthesis, but as temperatures go up, it “relaxes” and the shape of its pocket that holds the CO2 gets less precise. Consequently, one fifth of the time, the enzyme winds up fixing oxygen instead of carbon dioxide, lowering the efficiency of photosynthesis and wasting the plant’s resources. With an even greater temperature increase, Rubisco can completely deactivate. Since plants respond to nitrogen fertilizer by increasing the amount of Rubisco they have and growing more, the finding that nitrogen fixation can be sustained at higher temperatures than previously thought offers the possibility that it could compensate for the decreasing efficiency of Rubisco at higher temperatures.

    Rising temperatures are also causing growing seasons to become longer and warmer. Because plants will grow more and for a longer time, they will actually use more water, offsetting the benefits of partially closing their stomata. Contrary to what scientists believed in the past, the result will be drier soils and less runoff that is needed for streams and rivers. This could also lead to more local warming since evapotranspiration—when plants release moisture into the air—keeps the air cooler. In addition, when soils are dry, plants become stressed and do not absorb as much CO2, which could limit photosynthesis. Scientists found that even if plants absorbed excess carbon for photosynthesis during a wet year, the amount could not compensate for the reduced amount of CO2 absorbed during a previous dry year.

    Warmer winters and a longer growing season also help the pests, pathogens, and invasive species that harm vegetation. During longer growing seasons, more generations of pests can reproduce as warmer temperatures speed up insect life cycles, and more pests and pathogens survive over warm winters. Rising temperatures are also driving some insects to invade new territories, sometimes with devastating effects for the local plants.

    Higher temperatures and an increase in moisture also make crops more vulnerable. Weeds- many of which thrive in heat and elevated CO2-already cause about 34 percent of crop losses; insects cause 18 percent of losses, and disease 16 percent. Climate change will likely magnify these losses.

    Many crops start to experience stress at temperatures above 32° to 35°C, although this depends on crop type and water availability. Models show that each degree of added warmth can cause a 3 to 7 percent loss in the yields of some important crops, such as corn and soybeans.

    In addition, an increase in temperature speeds up the plant lifecycle so that as the plant matures more quickly, it has less time for photosynthesis, and consequently produces fewer grains and smaller yields.

    Plants are also on the move in response to warming temperatures. Species that are adapted to certain climatic conditions are gradually moving north or to higher elevations where it is cooler. In the last several decades, many North American plants have moved approximately 36 feet to higher elevations or 10.5 miles to higher latitudes every 10 years. The Arctic tree line is also moving 131 to 164 feet northward towards the pole each year. New environments may be less hospitable for the species moving into them as there might be less space or more competition for resources. Some species may have nowhere left to move and ultimately, certain species will be disadvantaged by the changes while others will benefit.

    Extreme weather

    Climate change will bring more frequent and severe extreme weather events, including extreme precipitation, wind disturbance, heat waves, and drought. Extreme precipitation events can disturb plant growth, particularly in recently burned forests, and make plants more vulnerable to flooding and soils to erosion. More frequent high winds can stress tree stands.

    Climate change is also expected to bring more combined heat waves and droughts, which would likely offset any benefits from the carbon fertilization effect. While crop yields often decrease during hot growing seasons, the combination of heat and dryness could cause maize yields to fall by 20 percent in some parts of the US, and 40 percent in Eastern Europe and southeast Africa. In addition, the combination of heat and water scarcity may reduce crop yields in places like the northern US, Canada, and Ukraine, where crop yields are projected to increase because of warmer temperatures.

    Other effects of increased CO2

    While some crop yields may increase, rising CO2 levels affect the level of important nutrients in crops. With elevated CO2, protein concentrations in grains of wheat, rice and barley, and in potato tubers decreased by 10 to 15 percent in one study. Crops also lose important minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. A 2018 study of rice varieties found that while elevated CO2 concentrations increased vitamin E, they resulted in decreases in vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B9.

    And, counterintuitively, the CO2-fueled increase in plant growth may result in less carbon storage in soil. Recent research [Nature] found that plants have to draw more nutrients from the soil to keep up with the added growth triggered by carbon fertilization. This stimulates microbial activity, which ends up releasing CO2 into the atmosphere that might otherwise have stayed in the soil. The findings challenge the long-held belief that as plants grow more due to increased CO2, the additional biomass would turn into organic matter and soils could increase their carbon storage.

    Plants face an uncertain future

    Many of the studies into the response of plant life to climate change seem to suggest that most plants will be more stressed and less productive in the future. But there are still many unknowns about how the complex interactions between plant physiology and behavior, resource availability and use, shifting plant communities, and other factors will affect overall plant life in the face of climate change.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    3

    The Earth Institute is a research institute at Columbia University that was established in 1995. Its stated mission is to address complex issues facing the planet and its inhabitants, with a focus on sustainable development. With an interdisciplinary approach, this includes research in climate change, geology, global health, economics, management, agriculture, ecosystems, urbanization, energy, hazards, and water. The Earth Institute’s activities are guided by the idea that science and technological tools that already exist could be applied to greatly improve conditions for the world’s poor, while preserving the natural systems that support life on Earth.

    The Earth Institute supports pioneering projects in the biological, engineering, social, and health sciences, while actively encouraging interdisciplinary projects—often combining natural and social sciences—in pursuit of solutions to real world problems and a sustainable planet. In its work, the Earth Institute remains mindful of the staggering disparities between rich and poor nations, and the tremendous impact that global-scale problems—such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change and extreme poverty—have on all nations.

    Columbia U Campus

    Columbia University (US) was founded in 1754 as King’s College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

    University Mission Statement

    Columbia University is one of the world’s most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the University to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.

    Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. Columbia is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications.

    Columbia was established as King’s College by royal charter from King George II of Great Britain in reaction to the founding of Princeton College. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784 following the American Revolution, and in 1787 was placed under a private board of trustees headed by former students Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. In 1896, the campus was moved to its current location in Morningside Heights and renamed Columbia University.

    Columbia scientists and scholars have played an important role in scientific breakthroughs including brain-computer interface; the laser and maser; nuclear magnetic resonance; the first nuclear pile; the first nuclear fission reaction in the Americas; the first evidence for plate tectonics and continental drift; and much of the initial research and planning for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Columbia is organized into twenty schools, including four undergraduate schools and 15 graduate schools. The university’s research efforts include the Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and accelerator laboratories with major technology firms such as IBM. Columbia is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and was the first school in the United States to grant the M.D. degree. With over 14 million volumes, Columbia University Library is the third largest private research library in the United States.

    The university’s endowment stands at $11.26 billion in 2020, among the largest of any academic institution. As of October 2020, Columbia’s alumni, faculty, and staff have included: five Founding Fathers of the United States—among them a co-author of the United States Constitution and a co-author of the Declaration of Independence; three U.S. presidents; 29 foreign heads of state; ten justices of the United States Supreme Court, one of whom currently serves; 96 Nobel laureates; five Fields Medalists; 122 National Academy of Sciences members; 53 living billionaires; eleven Olympic medalists; 33 Academy Award winners; and 125 Pulitzer Prize recipients.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:06 pm on January 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Timing is Everything-Researchers Shed Light on How Diverse Microbes May Co-Exist Despite Scarce Resources", , , , Data on metabolic processes were collected simultaneously from the same body of water every four hours., In the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre waters are fairly stable. Day and night cycles are fairly stable across the seasons. What does it look like in an area of the world where there are not these stab, , , , , Photosynthesis, The emergent data clusters revealed that most of the activity occurred at four time points: dusk (6 p.m.); night (2 a.m.); morning (6 a.m.) and afternoon (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)., , The research cruise ultimately yielded data on over 65000 unique genetic transcripts; metabolic markers and macromolecules over time in multiple types of organisms.   

    From The Georgia Institute of Technology (US): “Timing is Everything-Researchers Shed Light on How Diverse Microbes May Co-Exist Despite Scarce Resources” 

    From The Georgia Institute of Technology (US)

    January 20, 2022

    Audra Davidson
    Communications Officer
    davidson.audra@gatech.edu

    Microorganisms are highly abundant in the surface ocean, reaching densities exceeding a billion organisms per liter. Collectively responsible for roughly half of global carbon fixation, diverse groups of microbes coexist while relying on limited nutrients even as some microbes depend on energy from the sun to grow via photosynthesis.

    Precisely because microbes compete for scarce nutrients, how such a vast diversity of ocean microbes coexist has long puzzled scientists. A collaborative group of researchers from 13 institutions aimed to shed light on the subject as part of new work published today in Nature Ecology and Evolution led by Joshua Weitz, Professor and Tom and Marie Patton Chair in the School of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech.

    1
    R/V Kilo Manoa. One of two ships involved in collecting data for the study sailing in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Credit: Tara Clemente/Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology.

    “The pressing matter of survival for many microorganisms at the surface is acquiring enough nitrogen,” explains Daniel Muratore, a doctoral candidate in Quantitative Biosciences at Georgia Tech and one of three co-first authors of the study. “Since microbes need to acquire nitrogen to function, we might imagine that the particular microbial type that is best at acquiring nitrogen will ultimately win – because it’ll be able to grow faster than everything else. And yet that’s not the case.”

    By integrating data on the timing of metabolic processes of different microbes in the surface ocean throughout the 24-hour light cycle – from the transcription of genes for metabolic proteins to the synthesis of macromolecules like lipids – the researchers discovered that the coexistence of diverse microbes is shaped by the timing of uptake.

    “What we saw when we let the data speak for itself was that nitrogen uptake and assimilation had some of the most distributed timing, where different microbes are doing similar metabolic processes at different times of day,” Muratore explains. While genes associated with the uptake of a scarcer resource like nitrogen were transcribed at different times by different organisms, microbes tended to transcribe genes related to carbon metabolism and photosynthesis during daytime hours while the sun was shining.

    With staggered nitrogen uptake, Muratore points out that “instead of having to compete with the whole field, [microbes] only have to compete with the organisms that share that specific shift with them. Perhaps that’s one way that the competition is alleviated and can facilitate all of these diverse microbes being able to live off of the same nutrient source.”

    2
    Angela Boysen a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Chicago (US)(left) and colleagues in July 2015 lower an instrument at the study site in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, north of Hawaii. This instrument collected water samples at different depths that the researchers analyzed. Credit: Dror Shitrit/Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology.

    A deep dive into microbial metabolism

    The study began in 2015, when scientists across disciplines in the Simons Foundation’s Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE) collected different types of data looking at microbes in the surface of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the Earth’s largest stretch of contiguous ocean. “[We were interested in] understanding how that fluctuation of photosynthesis during the day and the absence thereof at night propagates through the microbial community [in the ocean],” explains Angela Boysen, co-first author on the study who conducted this research while a doctoral student at The University of Washington (US) and is now a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Chicago (US). “Fluctuations in energy input influence how the ecosystem overall functions, how much carbon is stored, where the carbon moves around, and how organisms might interact with each other.”

    Data on metabolic processes were collected simultaneously from the same body of water every four hours, giving researchers an unprecedented look at how metabolic activity differs among these microbes throughout the 24-hour day-night cycle. “Collecting all these different sample types – genes, metabolites, lipids, chemical, etc. – at the same time is really a first way to look at the whole ecosystem all at once from all these different perspectives,” Matthew Harke, a co-first author of the study and a research scientist at the Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute, shares. “That’s something that has rarely, if at all, been done.”

    The research cruise ultimately yielded data on over 65,000 unique genetic transcripts, metabolic markers, and macromolecules over time in multiple types of organisms, making the integration and interpretation of the data a big challenge. To make the data more interpretable, authors turned to machine learning methods, which work to cluster together data with similar patterns over time.

    The emergent data clusters revealed that most of the activity occurred at four time points: dusk (6 p.m.), night (2 a.m.), morning (6 a.m.), afternoon (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). While these times were important for the many types of microbes studied, the key metabolic activities at each time differed. For instance, photosynthesizing microbes expressed genes coding for proteins important in nitrogen uptake pathways the most at dusk, while organisms that rely on external organic matter for energy expressed these genes most in the morning. Transcription of genes associated with iron uptake, another scarce resource in the open ocean, also took place at different times across species.

    By uncovering new evidence that staggering resource uptake is potentially critical for the co-existence of diverse marine microbes, Harke highlights that “this paper really makes us re-think our perception of what it’s like to be a microbe in the ocean.” The ocean is vast, and the researchers are hoping to examine how widely their findings hold.

    “In the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, we see fairly stable waters, we have day and night cycles that are fairly stable across the seasons,” Harke explains. “What does it look like in an area of the world where that’s not stable? Do these types of things repeat themselves in coastal regions, or at other scales that we might want to look at, or other parts of the world with different dynamics that might be influencing physiology? Those are the big questions that come out of this.”

    See the full article here .

    See also here from The University of Washington (US).

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    The Georgia Institute of Technology (US) , is a public research university and institute of technology located in the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. It is a part of The University System of Georgia (US) and has satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; Shenzhen, China; and Singapore.

    The school was founded in 1885 as the Georgia School of Technology as part of Reconstruction plans to build an industrial economy in the post-Civil War Southern United States. Initially, it offered only a degree in mechanical engineering. By 1901, its curriculum had expanded to include electrical, civil, and chemical engineering. In 1948, the school changed its name to reflect its evolution from a trade school to a larger and more capable technical institute and research university.

    Today, Georgia Tech is organized into six colleges and contains about 31 departments/units, with emphasis on science and technology. It is well recognized for its degree programs in engineering, computing, industrial administration, the sciences and design. Georgia Tech is ranked 8th among all public national universities in the United States, 35th among all colleges and universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report rankings, and 34th among global universities in the world by Times Higher Education rankings. Georgia Tech has been ranked as the “smartest” public college in America (based on average standardized test scores).

    Student athletics, both organized and intramural, are a part of student and alumni life. The school’s intercollegiate competitive sports teams, the four-time football national champion Yellow Jackets, and the nationally recognized fight song “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech”, have helped keep Georgia Tech in the national spotlight. Georgia Tech fields eight men’s and seven women’s teams that compete in the NCAA Division I athletics and the Football Bowl Subdivision. Georgia Tech is a member of the Coastal Division in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:04 pm on January 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Shift work helps marine microbes share scarce ocean resources", , , , , , , , Photosynthesis,   

    From The University of Washington (US): “Shift work helps marine microbes share scarce ocean resources” 

    From The University of Washington (US)

    January 20, 2022

    Angela Boysen
    aboysen@uchicago.edu

    Anitra Ingalls
    aingalls@uw.edu

    Shift work helps marine microbes share scarce ocean resources.

    1
    R/V Kilo Manoa. One of two ships involved in collecting data for the study sailing in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.Credit: Tara Clemente/Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology.

    Though they may be small, microorganisms are the most abundant form of life in the ocean. Marine microbes are responsible for making roughly half of the organic carbon that’s usable by life. Many marine microbes live near the surface, depending on energy from the sun for photosynthesis.

    Yet between the low supply of and high competition for some key nutrients, like nitrogen, in the open ocean, scientists have puzzled over the vast diversity of microbial species found there. Researchers from the University of Washington, in collaboration with researchers from 12 other institutions, show that time of day is key, according to a study published Jan. 20 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

    The effort began in 2015, when scientists in the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology, a program now co-led by UW oceanography professor Ginger Armbrust, looked at microbes in the surface of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the Earth’s largest stretch of contiguous ocean.

    “[We were interested in] understanding how that fluctuation of photosynthesis during the day and the absence thereof at night propagates through the microbial community [in the ocean],” explained co-first author Angela Boysen, who did the work as a doctoral student at the UW and is now a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Chicago (US). “That influences how the ecosystem overall functions, how much carbon is stored, where the carbon moves around, and how organisms might interact with each other.”

    2
    Angela Boysen (left) and colleagues in July 2015 lower an instrument at the study site in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, north of Hawaii. This instrument collected water samples at different depths that the researchers analyzed.Dror Shitrit/Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology.

    By integrating data on the timing of metabolic processes of different microbes in the surface ocean throughout the 24-hour light cycle — from the transcription of genes for proteins used in metabolism to the synthesis of molecules, like lipids, into the microbes’ cells — the researchers discovered that the coexistence of such diverse microbes may not be dictated by competition, but by the timing of their nitrogen uptake.

    With staggered uptake of the essential nutrient nitrogen, “instead of having to compete with the whole field, [microbes] only have to compete with the organisms that share that specific shift with [them]. Perhaps that’s one way that the competition is slightly alleviated and can facilitate all of these diverse microbes being able to live off of the same nutrient source,” said co-first author Daniel Muratore, a doctoral student at The Georgia Institute of Technology (US).

    Because of the interdisciplinary team present on the 2015 research cruise, data on almost the entire metabolic process was collected simultaneously from the same water every four hours, giving researchers an unprecedented look at how metabolic activity differs among these microbes throughout the 24-hour cycle.

    “Collecting all these different sample types … at the same time is really a first way to look at the whole ecosystem all at once from all these different perspectives,” Matthew Harke, a co-first author and research scientist at The Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (US).

    The data revealed that most of the activity occurred at four time points: dusk (6 p.m.), night (2 a.m.), morning (6 a.m.) and afternoon (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). While these times were important for many types of microbes, different groups’ activities at each time weren’t uniform.

    “Realizing that various types of microbes acquire nitrogen at different times of day helps to answer a long-standing question in oceanography: How can there be such an incredible diversity of life, all essentially in the same place at the same time?” said co-author Anitra Ingalls, a UW professor of oceanography. “Being able to explain the underlying reasons for this diversity will help oceanographers better predict how these communities may shift as the ocean changes.”

    Sacha Coesel, a UW research scientist in oceanography, is also a co-author. The research was supported by grants from the Simons Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the U.S. Geological Survey.

    A full list of authors is available with the paper.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus

    The University of Washington (US) is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington (US) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities(US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation(US), UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences(US), 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine(US), 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering(US), 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:28 pm on January 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A superstar enzyme is ready for its close-up", , , , Cryo-electron microscopy technology, Photosynthesis, Photosystem II-an enzyme that oxides water molecules-taking away their electrons to use as fuel., The main goal is to understand the chemistry of water oxidation.,   

    From Yale University (US) : “A superstar enzyme is ready for its close-up” 

    From Yale University (US)

    December 20, 2021

    By Jim Shelton

    Media Contact
    Fred Mamoun:
    fred.mamoun@yale.edu
    203-436-2643

    1
    This illustration features a cryo-EM “map” of the photosystem II complex. It is a 3D reconstruction, based on two-dimensional cryo-EM images, with different protein subunits of the complex colored individually.

    A Yale-led team of chemists has unveiled the blueprints for a key enzyme that may contain design principles for a new generation of synthetic solar fuel catalysts.

    The research, led by Yale’s Gary Brudvig and Christopher Gisriel, uses cryo-electron microscopy on a microorganism called Synechocystis to get an extreme close-up picture of Photosystem II, the enzyme in photosynthesis that uses water as a solar fuel, enabling researchers to observe how the enzyme works.

    The study, which appears in the journal PNAS, was co-authored by researchers from The University of California-Riverside (US), Boston College (US), and The City University of New York (US).

    Photosynthesis is the mechanism by which plants and certain microorganisms, like Synechocystis, use sunlight to synthesize food from carbon dioxide and water — and fill the atmosphere with oxygen as a byproduct. At the heart of photosynthesis is Photosystem II-an enzyme that oxides water molecules-taking away their electrons to use as fuel.

    Scientists have long sought ways to mimic this process to create more efficient solar fuel catalysts, by studying Photosystem II from Synechocystis. But without a clear picture of Photosystem II’s molecular structure in Synechocystis, it has been challenging for scientists to understand the results of their experiments.

    Previous work led by Yale created a snapshot of Photosytem II from Synechocystis in an “immature” stage, before the enzyme was capable of water oxidation. That work allowed the researchers to better understand how the enzyme is built.

    In the new study, the researchers were able to see the enzyme in Synechocystis in its mature, active form, with all of the protein subunits and activity that is present during water oxidation. The observation, made possible by cryo-electron microscopy technology at Yale’s West Campus, offers one of the closest, most detailed looks ever accomplished for Photosystem II in Synechocystis.

    “At this resolution, we can see amino acids, small-molecule co-factors, and water molecules that are used in the mechanism of water oxidation,” said Brudvig, the Benjamin Silliman Professor of Chemistry in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and director of the Energy Sciences Institute at Yale’s West Campus. Brudvig is the study’s corresponding author.

    “In some cases, we can even see the contribution of individual protons,” Brudvig added.

    With this new, up-close view of Photosystem II from Synechocystis, the researchers say they’ll be able to introduce tiny changes to the enzyme — such as mutating individual amino acids — to see how those changes affect the enzyme’s function.

    “The main goal is to understand the chemistry of water oxidation,” said Gisriel, a postdoctoral associate in chemistry and the study’s first author. “What we’ve done here provides a platform from which we can deconstruct the system, providing the design principles for synthetic solar fuel catalysts.”

    Co-authors of the study from Yale are Jimin Wang, Jinchan Liu, David Flesher, Krystle Reiss, Hao-Li Huang, Ke Yang, and Victor Batista. Additional co-authors are William Armstrong from Boston College (US), M.R. Gunner from The City College of New York (US), and Richard Debus of The University of California-Riverside (US).

    The Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences (US) and the National Institutes of Health (US) funded the research.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Yale University (US) is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) (US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation (US), Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences (US), 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering (US) and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (US). The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton,

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health (US) director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:27 pm on June 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An artificial leaf made from semiconducting polymers", Photosynthesis,   

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): “An artificial leaf made from semiconducting polymers” 

    From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    24.06.21
    Laboratoire LIMNO EPFL SB

    EPFL scientists are generating oxygen from sunlight, water and semiconducting polymers. They present a promising way towards economical and scalable solar fuel production.

    Natural photosynthesis evolved to covert water and sunlight into oxygen (O2) and stored chemical energy. In plants this process is not very efficient, however the possibility to convert sunlight into chemical fuel in an economical and globally scalable manner is a very attractive method for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As such, scientists have been searching for routes toward efficient and inexpensive mimics of natural photosynthesis for decades. It turns out that the O2 production step is quite tricky and remains a major challenge toward artificial photosynthesis.

    Now, in a recent report published in Nature Catalysis, Prof. Kevin Sivula and his co-workers in the Laboratory for Molecular Engineering of Optoelectronic Nanomaterials (LIMNO) at EPFL describe a mixture of semiconducting polymers, commonly known as plastic electronics, that demonstrates highly efficient solar-driven water oxidation (H2O → O2).

    1
    Generating oxygen from sunlight, water and semiconducting polymers © LIMNO / EPFL.

    Compared to previously-reported systems, which employ inorganic materials such as metal oxides or silicon and have not met the performance and cost requirements for industrialization, the polymeric materials reported in this new work have molecularly tunable properties, and are solution-processable at low temperature, allowing large scale device fabrication at low manufacturing cost.

    The EPFL team’s breakthrough was realized by tuning the properties of the polymers to match the requirements of the water oxidation reaction and by assembling them into what is called “a bulk heterojunction” (BHJ) blend that further improves the efficiency of the solar-driven catalytic reaction. By also optimizing the conduction of the electronic charges in the device by using carefully engineered interfaces, they realized the first demonstration of a water oxidizing “photo-anode” based on a BHJ polymer blend that exhibits a benchmark performance to date – performing two orders of magnitude better than previous organic-based devices. Moreover, the team identified key factors that influence the robust performance of O2 production, which will help define paths forward to further improve the performance.

    By virtue of the potential of this approach, the system developed by Prof. Kevin Sivula and colleagues could substantially contribute to advancing the field of polymer-based electronics and establishing a promising route towards economical, efficient, and scalable solar fuel production by artificial photosynthesis.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH) . Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form the Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices was located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganised and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich(CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organised into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences (SB, Jan S. Hesthaven)

    Institute of Mathematics (MATH, Victor Panaretos)
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC, Emsley Lyndon)
    Institute of Physics (IPHYS, Harald Brune)
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations (CECAM, Ignacio Pagonabarraga Mora)
    Bernoulli Center (CIB, Nicolas Monod)
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center (CIBM, Rolf Gruetter)
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy (CIME, Cécile Hébert)
    Max Planck-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology (CMNT, Thomas Rizzo)
    Swiss Plasma Center (SPC, Ambrogio Fasoli)
    Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO, Jean-Paul Kneib)

    School of Engineering (STI, Ali Sayed)

    Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEL, Giovanni De Micheli)
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM, Thomas Gmür)
    Institute of Materials (IMX, Michaud Véronique)
    Institute of Microengineering (IMT, Olivier Martin)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Matthias Lütolf)

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC, Claudia R. Binder)

    Institute of Architecture (IA, Luca Ortelli)
    Civil Engineering Institute (IIC, Eugen Brühwiler)
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences (INTER, Philippe Thalmann)
    Environmental Engineering Institute (IIE, David Andrew Barry)

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC, James Larus)

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences (SV, Gisou van der Goot)

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies (SSV)
    Brain Mind Institute (BMI, Carmen Sandi)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Melody Swartz)
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC, Douglas Hanahan)
    Global Health Institute (GHI, Bruno Lemaitre)
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics (CPG)
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases (NCCR-SYNAPSY)

    College of Management of Technology (CDM)

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL (CDM-SFI, Damir Filipovic)
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-PMTE, Daniel Kuhn)
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy (CDM-ITPP, Matthias Finger)
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-MTEI, Ralf Seifert)
    Section of Financial Engineering (CDM-IF, Julien Hugonnier)

    College of Humanities (CDH, Thomas David)

    Human and social sciences teaching program (CDH-SHS, Thomas David)

    EPFL Middle East (EME, Dr. Franco Vigliotti)[62]

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability (MES, Prof. Maher Kayal)

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 12:51 pm on March 8, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Ben-Gurion University of the Negev אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון;בנגב(IL), , , Current coherence and classicality, Effect of environment on photosynthetic transfer efficiency, Investigating quantum effects in biology, Photosynthesis   

    From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון;בנגב(IL) via phys.org: “Do photosynthetic complexes use quantum coherence to increase their efficiency?” 

    From Ben-Gurion University of the Negev אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון;בנגב(IL)

    via


    phys.org

    March 8, 2021
    Thamarasee Jeewandara

    1
    Mechanisms of efficiency-driven evolution and environment-assisted quantum transport. (A) Schematic description of the evolutionary progress of photosynthetic complexes toward their current geometry, with efficiency being the evolutionary driving force. As evolution progresses, the structure of the photosynthetic complex evolves toward its current structure [the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) complex in this example] while increasing efficiency. Whether this is indeed the evolutionary pathway of photosynthetic complexes, and if so, whether quantum coherence is part of the efficiency enhancement is a central question in the field of quantum biology. (B) Schematic depiction of the population uniformization mechanism shown for a uniform chain of six sites (blue lines depict the sites in the chain; yellow arrows show the excitation of first site and extraction from fifth site). The density of the sites is described by blue bars for the quantum regime, ENAQT regime, and classical regime, along with a schematic form for the current versus dephasing curves. Credit: Science Advances.

    In a new report now published on Science Advances, Elinor Zerah Harush and Yonatan Dubi in the departments of chemistry and nanoscale science and technology, at the אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון;בנגב](IL]) Ben-Gurion University of the Negev(IL) discussed a direct evaluation of the effects of quantum coherence on the efficiency of three natural photosynthetic complexes. The open quantum systems approach allowed the researchers to simultaneously identify the quantum-nature and efficiency under natural physiological conditions. These systems resided in a mixed quantum-classical regime, which they characterized using dephasing-assisted transport. The efficiency was minimal at best therefore the presence of quantum coherence did not play a substantial role in the process. The efficiency was also independent of any structural parameters, suggesting the role of evolution during structural design for other uses.

    Investigating quantum effects in biology

    During photosynthesis, energy can be transferred from an antenna to a reaction center to collect light and convert it to chemical energy for use by the organism. Exciton-bound electron hole pairs formed the energy carriers in the photosynthetic process to carry harvested solar energy from the antenna to the reaction center via a network of bacteriochlorophylls (photosynthetic pigments that occur in bacteria), also known as the exciton-transfer complex (ETC). Interests on the ETC have expanded in the past decade where researchers used ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopy signals to demonstrate long-lived oscillations. The discovery of coherent oscillations in ETCs presented the hypothesis that quantum coherence occurred within natural photosynthetic complexes to assist energy transfer. Harush et al. sought to understand if quantum coherence could exist in the biological process of photosynthetic energy transfer. If so, was it used by the natural system for enhanced functional efficiency? While experimental and theoretical work have addressed these questions, they remain largely unanswered. In this work, the team addressed the questions using tools developed from the theory of open quantum systems. The findings suggest the unlikelihood for photosynthetic complexes to use quantum coherence to increase their efficiency.

    2
    Effect of environment on photosynthetic transfer efficiency in FMO and PC645. Calculated exciton current as a function of dephasing for the FMO (A) and PC-645 (B) complexes. The shaded green area indicates the estimated range of physiological dephasing rates. Insets show a schematic description of the exciton complexes. Credit: Science Advances.

    The experiments

    The team considered three different photosynthetic ETCs (exciton-transfer complexes) during the experiments. These include the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) complex—which appears in green sulfur bacteria, the cryptophyte phycocyanin-645 (PC-645) protein—a part of the photosynthetic apparatus in cryptophyte algae, and light harvesting 2 (LH2) – a part of the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila. All three complexes showed coherent energy transfer oscillations in nonlinear two-dimensional spectroscopy measurements. The team plotted the exciton current as a function of the dephasing rate for the FMO complex and the PC-645 complex. The similarity between the plots indicted relative insensitivity of the current to the internal structure Hamiltonian. Using the bacterial populations Harush et al. tested the level of “quantumness” of the system. They recognized this using a connection between the exciton population and dephasing rate through the mechanism of environment-assisted quantum transport (ENAQT). The ENAQT effect was clearly visible in the results since the current showed a maximum in the dephasing rate. However, the current enhancement was minute at approximately 0.0015% increase to indicate the unlikely nature of the complex to impose a meaningful evolutionary driving force.

    3
    Exciton density arrangement in the formation of ENAQT. (A) Density configuration (i.e., exciton occupation at different sites) of the FMO complex for three different regimes: quantum limit (blue line, γdeph = 10−4 μs−1), biological condition (yellow line, γdeph = 106 μs−1), and classic limit (green line, γdeph = 1012 μs−1). The transition from the quantum regime toward the classical regime is accompanied by a shift in the density configuration, from a wave function–determined configuration to a uniform gradient between the source and the sink, with a uniform configuration in between. To more clearly see this, (B), (C) and (D) present the schematic structure of FMO, where each sphere represents a BChl site, and the color brightness reflects its density. Credit: Science Advances.

    Effect of environment on photosynthetic transfer efficiency

    The team next investigated the LH2 (light harvesting-2) complex to understand the connection between ENAQT (environment-assisted quantum transport) and the population. This was difficult due to the lack of spatial separation between the antenna and reaction center in the construct. The LH2 complex contained two rings of bacteriophyll pigments; B800 (yellow ring) and B850 (blue ring) named after their energy absorption resonance in nanometers and absorbing energy in the visible region of the spectrum. Each part of the complex could absorb light to excite an exciton, which transferred from one of the rings to the reaction center allowing many exciton transfer-paths to occur. However, a current versus dephasing curve for LH2 revealed the importance of coherence during transport. The team then plotted current as a function of dephasing rate of the LH2 system and noted a very small increase in current approximating 0.05 percent.

    4
    Effect of environment on photosynthetic transfer efficiency in LH2. Average LH2 exciton current as a function of dephasing rate (black line), calculated for ≈900 possible paths. Pink curves show the current of arbitrary chosen realizations (i.e., entry and exit sites) in LH2. Shaded green area marks the natural dephasing rate. Inset: Schematic description of LH2 transfer network. Credit: Science Advances.

    Current coherence and classicality.

    The results of the study established the absence of a substantial increase in the exciton current when comparing the fully quantum case with the physiologically realistic dephasing rates. They also took classical systems in to account, which were not defined by the lack of any coherence, although their coherences could be fully determined from the populations without additional information. Researchers had previously quantified the distinction between quantum and classical systems. In a classical system, the two currents will be the same, implying that quantum coherences do not carry additional information across the classical dynamics.

    The outcome of this study indicated how the structures of interest relative to FMO, PC-645 and LH2 did not evolve to enhance the efficiency of the complexes. In the future, Elinor Zerah Harush and Yonatan Dubi intend to assess the origin of the observed dephasing time to acknowledge if the values calculated in the study are unique. The team also intend to understand other potential evolutionary advantages of the photosynthetic transfer complexes, which will guide biophysicists to broadly understand the possible role of quantum effects in photosynthetic complexes.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (IL) אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב(IL) is a public research university in Beersheba, Israel. Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has five campuses: the Marcus Family Campus, Beer Sheva; the David Bergmann Campus, Beer Sheva; the David Tuviyahu Campus, Beer Sheva; the Sede Boqer Campus, and Eilat Campus.

    Ben-Gurion University is a center for teaching and research with about 20,000 students. Some of its research institutes include the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev, the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research with the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, and the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism.

    Ben-Gurion University was established in 1969 as the University of the Negev with the aim of promoting the development of the Negev desert that comprises more than sixty percent of Israel. The University was later renamed after Israel’s founder and first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who believed that the future of the country lay in this region. After Ben-Gurion’s death in 1973, the University was renamed Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The Presidents of the university have been Moshe Prywes (1973–75), Yosef Tekoah (1975–81), Shlomo Gazit (1982–85), Chaim Elata (1985–90), Avishay Braverman (1990–2006), Rivka Carmi (2006–18), and Daniel Chamovitz (2018–present).

    In 2016, long-time friends, the late Dr. Howard and Lottie Marcus bequeathed a legacy gift of $400 million to Ben-Gurion University. This is the largest bequest ever made to an Israeli university and the most generous donation to any institution in the State of Israel. The funds doubled the University’s existing endowment.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:20 pm on March 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How 'great' was the great oxygenation event?", , , , , , Photosynthesis, Phylogenetic "trees" are widely used to unravel the history of species or human families but also of protein families., The findings supported the scenario in which oxygen was already known to many life forms by the time the GOE took place., The phylogenetic trees the researchers obtained showed a burst of oxygen-based enzyme evolution about 3 billion years ago-something like half a billion years before the GOE., The research presents a completely new means of dating oxygen emergence and one that helps us understand how life as we know it now evolved., This burst dated to the time that bacteria left the oceans and began to colonize the land., Weizmann Institute of Science(IL)   

    From Weizmann Institute of Science(IL) via phys.org: “How ‘great’ was the great oxygenation event?” 

    Weizmann Institute of Science logo

    From Weizmann Institute of Science(IL)

    via


    From phys.org

    1
    Banded iron deposits like these contain clues to the Great Oxygenation Event. Credit: Weizmann Institute of Science.

    Around 2.5 billion years ago, our planet experienced what was possibly the greatest change in its history: According to the geological record, molecular oxygen suddenly went from nonexistent to becoming freely available everywhere. Evidence for the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) is clearly visible, for example, in banded iron formations containing oxidized iron [above]. The GOE, of course, is what allowed oxygen-using organisms—respirators—and ultimately ourselves, to evolve. But was it indeed a ‘great event’ in the sense that the change was radical and sudden, or were the organisms alive at the time already using free oxygen, just at lower levels?

    Prof. Dan Tawfik of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Biomolecular Sciences Department explains that the dating of the GOE is indisputable, as is the fact that the molecular oxygen was produced by photosynthetic microorganisms [cyanobacteria].

    An image of Cyanobacteria, Tolypothrix.

    Chemically speaking, energy taken from light split water into protons (hydrogen ions) and oxygen. The electrons produced in this process were used to form energy-storing compounds (sugars), and the oxygen, a by-product, was initially released into the surroundings.

    The question that has not been resolved, however, is: Did the production of oxygen coincide with the GOE, or did living organisms have access to oxygen even before that event? One side of this debate states that molecular oxygen would not have been available before the GOE, as the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans prior to that time would have ensured that any oxygen released by photosynthesis would have immediately reacted chemically. A second side of the debate, however, suggests that some of the oxygen produced by the photosynthetic microorganisms may have remained free long enough for non-photosynthetic organisms to snap it up for their own use, even before the GOE. Several conjectures in between these two have proposed ‘oases,’ or short-lived ‘waves,’ of atmospheric oxygenation.

    Research student Jagoda Jabłońska in Tawfik’s group thought that the group’s focus—protein evolution—could help resolve the issue. That is, using methods of tracing how and when various proteins have evolved, she and Tawfik might find out when living organisms began to process oxygen. Such phylogenetic “trees” are widely used to unravel the history of species or human families but also of protein families, and Jabłońska decided to use a similar approach to unearth the evolution of oxygen-based enzymes.

    To begin the study, Jabłońska sorted through around 130 known families of enzymes that either make or use oxygen in bacteria and archaea—the sorts of life forms that would have been around in the Archean Eon (the period between the emergence of life, ca. 4 billion years ago, and the GOE). From these she selected around half, in which oxygen-using or -emitting activity was found in most or all of the family members and seemed to be the founding function. That is, the very first family member would have emerged as an oxygen enzyme. From these, she selected 36 whose evolutionary history could be traced conclusively. “Of course, it was far from simple,” says Tawfik. “Genes can be lost in some organisms, giving the impression they evolved later in members in which they held on. And microorganisms share genes horizontally, messing up the phylogenetic trees and leading to an overestimation of the enzyme’s age. We had to correct for the latter, especially.”

    The phylogenetic trees the researchers ultimately obtained showed a burst of oxygen-based enzyme evolution about 3 billion years ago—something like half a billion years before the GOE. Examining this time frame further, the scientists found that rather than coinciding with the takeover of atmospheric oxygen, this burst dated to the time that bacteria left the oceans and began to colonize the land. A few oxygen-using enzymes could be traced back even farther. If oxygen use had coincided with the GOE, the enzymes that use it would have evolved later, so the findings supported the scenario in which oxygen was already known to many life forms by the time the GOE took place.

    The scenario that Jabłońska and Tawfik propose looks something like this: Oxygen is one of the most chemically reactive elements around. Like one end of a battery, it readily accepts electrons, thus providing extra metabolic power. That makes it extremely useful to many life forms, but also potentially damaging. So photosynthetic organisms as well as other organisms living in their vicinity had to quickly develop ways to efficiently dispose of oxygen. This would account for the emergence of oxygen-utilizing enzymes that would remove molecular oxygen from cells. One microorganism’s waste, however, is another’s potential source of life. Oxygen’s unique reactivity enabled organisms to break down and use “resilient” molecules such as aromatics and lipids, so enzymes that take up and use oxygen likely began evolving soon after.

    Tawfik says, “This confirms the hypothesis that oxygen appeared and persisted in the biosphere well before the GOE. It took time to achieve the higher GOE level, but by then oxygen was widely known in the biosphere.”

    Jabłońska concludes, “Our research presents a completely new means of dating oxygen emergence and one that helps us understand how life as we know it now evolved.”

    Science paper:
    The evolution of oxygen-utilizing enzymes suggests early biosphere oxygenation
    Nature Ecology & Evolution

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Weizmann Institute Campus

    The Weizmann Institute of Science(IL) is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research institutions. Hundreds of scientists, laboratory technicians and research students working on its lushly landscaped campus embark daily on fascinating journeys into the unknown, seeking to improve our understanding of nature and our place within it.

    Guiding these scientists is the spirit of inquiry so characteristic of the human race. It is this spirit that propelled humans upward along the evolutionary ladder, helping them reach their utmost heights. It prompted humankind to pursue agriculture, learn to build lodgings, invent writing, harness electricity to power emerging technologies, observe distant galaxies, design drugs to combat various diseases, develop new materials and decipher the genetic code embedded in all the plants and animals on Earth.

    The quest to maintain this increasing momentum compels Weizmann Institute scientists to seek out places that have not yet been reached by the human mind. What awaits us in these places? No one has the answer to this question. But one thing is certain – the journey fired by curiosity will lead onward to a better future.

     
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