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Photosynethesis - Essay Example

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Photosynthesis: Current scientific research and studies Name: Class #: Date: High School’s Name: Introduction The definition of ‘photosynthesis’ is critical in gaining an understanding of why the photosynthetic processes are important…
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Download file to see previous pages 1). The name ‘photosynthesis’ (a chemical change process) is derived from Latin terminology, ‘formation of light’. The ‘formation of light’ process is important in the sustenance of the food chain in which “all human food energy and the food energy of many living organisms are directly or indirectly derived from the photosynthetic processes” (Gale Science, 2011, p. 1). For example, an organism (i.e. a cow) eats plants and, therefore, consumes the plant energy that was generated via photosynthesis; this is energy indirectly via photosynthesis. “Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use the energy of light to produce carbohydrates and molecular oxygen, (O2) from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). 6CO2 + 6H2O – sunlight – C6H12O6 + 6O2 Virtually all ecosystems on earth depend on photosynthesis as their source of energy. Incredibly, all free oxygen on the planet, including atmospheric oxygen, originates from photosynthesis” (Robinson, 2009, p. 1). The following articles analyze and demonstrate current research on the topic of ‘photosynthesis’. Each is concerned with scientific research and measurable analysis of the photosynthetic processes. The test methods of certain scientific questions and studies offer unique theoretical insights, and interpretations of scientific methodologies. Article #1: “Comparing light-conversion efficiency of plants and manmade solar cells” by Durham, Sharon (2012). Agricultural Research. (60.1)7. In this scientific article written by researcher Sharon Durham (2012), the research study question is asked… “When using light energy, how do manmade photo cells compare to a plant’s photosynthesis”? (Durham, 2012, p. 1). Explain what the scientist were testing During scientific inquiry, scientist from the Agricultural Research Service conducted a study in which comparisons were drawn between plant cells and photovoltaic cells – how efficiently each cell type converted sunlight into energy. The significance of purpose of the study was to find out how scientists and researchers “could improve plant photosynthesis – a critical first link in the global supply chain for food, fiber, and bioenergy production” (Durham, 2012, p. 1). Explain (briefly) how they tested it Scientists conducted detailed-oriented scientific methodology and measurement to compare plant cell and manmade solar cell photosynthetic processes. Research leader, Donald Ort, conducts scientific studies on photosynthesis from his field office – the ARS Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit in Urbana, Illinois. According to Ort (2012), “scientists know that plants are not as efficient as manmade solar cells at converting light into energy. But there is a way of comparing the two systems more accurately. The study identified specific redesigns that hold excellent promise for improving efficiency” (Ort, 2012, p. 1). Researchers set comparison standards, first considering current technology then strategies for improvements. Explain what they found As noted by S. Durham (2012), “…comparing the two systems is a challenge. Although both processes harvest energy from sunlight, they use the energy in different ways. Plants convert the sun’s energy into chemical energy, whereas, solar cells produce electricity” (Durham, 2012, p. 1). Research scientist, Ort, points out… “While, in context of our efficiency analysis, solar cells have a clear advantage compared to photosynthesis. There is a need to apply ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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