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Seaweeds contain a source of energy

January 12 2007

For its growth, some types of bacteria growth in the world ocean using the sun's energy. The reason - the presence in their organism of a unique pigment-protein, which catches the sun's rays. Back in 2000, scientists from the USA this pigment gene was detected in DNA from a large number of unexplored marine bacteria. But now, biologists from the Higher School of the Swedish city of Kalmar in collaboration with colleagues from Gothenburg and Spanish scientists have experimentally proved that sunlight stimulates the growth of bacteria.

"That's what we did not know. Pigment could simply help these bacteria to orient in space through the world" - says a researcher from Kalmar Dzheron Pinhassi.

A similar protein may be used for artificial photosynthesis at environmentally clean energy production, even if it does not bind the carbon, as during normal photosynthesis.

"This discovery is of great importance for understanding the carbon cycle in nature, and how solar energy enters the food chain - adds Pinhassi. - Bacteria in the upper ocean are swimming in a sea of light. It is not surprising that evolution has spared microorganisms that can use light as source of energy. "

Cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae) convert solar energy into chemical energy through photosynthesis. They are in the process, connect a huge amount of carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. It is thus produces more than half of all the oxygen in the atmosphere. Break the news

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