Trees? We don’t need no stinking trees!

A lab at UC Berkeley has developed a new technique using nanotechnology to create artificial photosynthesis. Why is this a big deal? Because in order for real plants to turn light into energy they use up carbon dioxide. In case you haven’t heard, carbon dioxide is a major green house gas contributing to climate change. Not only could this artificial photosynthesis help remove carbon dioxide from the air, but it can also be used to produce chemicals and even

Sorry trees, you're fired!

Sorry trees, you’re fired!

pharmaceuticals!

Now, as psyched as I am that this could offer a huge help in the fight against climate change, I’m also a little freaked out by it. There is definitely  a Soylent Green sort of feel to this type of technology. Because this is really a job that should be done by, you know, trees. But since we’ve been systematically removing all our forests it’s time to show nature that anything it can do we can do better. I don’t think any of the researchers who came up with this method are saying we should just replace all plants with it, but at the rate we’re going sometimes it feels like eventually that will be our only option. But I really hope not. I hope this just proves to be a useful tool that can help us slow down climate change while we find a renewable energy source that will get us off of fossil fuels. Hey, a girl can dream can’t she?

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About Hannah Rosen

I am a PhD candidate at Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University. I am currently conducting research on color change in squid skin, but my real passion is making science accessible to those outside of the field so that everyone can love it as much as I do! Science is not just for the professionals. It is fun and something that everyone can and should enjoy. Deep down we are all science nerds, you just may not know it yet!

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