Carbon dioxide

Artificial Leaf

Research to harness the clean and renewable energy of the Sun is going on around the Globe. Artificial leaf made by a professor and his team at MIT is a step in this direction. Nature is so complex that even the structure of a leaf which is a basic unit for converting absorbed Carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and water (H2O) into glucose is beyond full comprehension. Human beings try to break down every phenomena in nature into smaller manageable parts and understand it and then integrate the results. This is due to the evolution of our brain in such a… Read More »Artificial Leaf

Plants are very Smart Indeed

Plants are very smart, efficient and unforgiving in the energy management. Unlike the animals, who cannot regrow their limbs, plants see to it that inefficient leaves are cast off and replaced by new efficient one’s so that the food making machine continue to run smoothly. The leaves make the food by combining carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll which shepherds the energy from sun and store it in the plant. Animals make use of this energy by eating the plant parts. This pigment imparts green color to the leaves and masks the faint colors of other chemicals… Read More »Plants are very Smart Indeed

Mighty Microbes !!

Microbes may be very small in size but their sheer numbers and remarkable adaptability to the existing climates is astounding. The word microbe is derived from micro-organisms meaning they are so small that they cannot be seen with naked eyes. A microscope is required to see them. But these tiny organisms are so active that they can bring about mammoth changes into the environment in which they live. Most of the chemical changes on the earth are brought about by these microorganisms. When the earth first formed, the atmosphere consisted only of carbon dioxide and water. Due to this iron… Read More »Mighty Microbes !!

Energy efficiency of human machine

Living organisms require energy for every activity they perform. As I am keying in from the keyboard, energy is being used for movement of fingers, thought and coordination processes running in the brain. The immediate source of this energy in heterotrophic organisms, which include animals, fungi, and most bacteria, is the sugar glucose. Glucose is oxidized into carbon dioxide and water with the help of inhaled oxygen and in the process 2880 KJ/mol energy is released. Of course it would not do to simply “burn” the glucose in the normal way; the energy change would be wasted as heat, and… Read More »Energy efficiency of human machine

Bread: Most Basic Necessity

One’s “Bread and Butter” means the major occupation which provides him the sustenance for life. “breaking bread” is a community custom which is sharing the food and sitting together. It is thus more than eating but a way to bring the members of a community closer to one another. The importance of bread cannot be overemphasized. Primitive man was a nomad and it was the wheat grass for which womenfolk are credited to have grown, which gave the man a reason to stay put at a place and bring the stability in the life which was almost akin to animals.… Read More »Bread: Most Basic Necessity

Is there life on Mars? Again Microbes hold the key

Earliest life of single cell evolved into 3 branches having distinct traits. The branches further subdivide into more branches on the evolutionary tree of life called Phylogenetic tree of life. The first three branches are called Bacteria, archaea and Eucaryota. As we can see in this tree, there is a member of archaea family with the name Methanogen. This microbe holds the answer for presence of vast quantities of methane which is trapped inside the ice cages called methane hydrates. These hydrates are found on Earth in the permafrost regions having very low temperatures or under the deep sea floor.… Read More »Is there life on Mars? Again Microbes hold the key

Stomatal Index and Level of Carbondioxide in Atmosphere

There was a time when things started rolling on with advent of photosynthesis by cyano-bacteria or green algae which began preparing its food from carbon dioxide and water which were the only substances available in plenty. They paved the way for introduction of oxygen into the atmosphere and for beginning of life dependent on oxygen. In fact, both the products made by photosynthesis namely sugar and oxygen are used by animals including humans for sustaining their life. We animals are thus the species who learned to make use of the leg work of others to their own advantage. Of course,… Read More »Stomatal Index and Level of Carbondioxide in Atmosphere

Bacteria in Oilfields

Bacteria can thrive on almost anything and adapt themselves to very diverse environments. They can eat subsist on substances like cellulose which we humans cannot assimilate. They can breakdown poisonous gases like hydrogen sulfide and absorb nitrogen from atmosphere and fix them into the roots of many plants which plants use as fertilizer. Bacteria can even breakdown crude oil. Crude oil consists of millions of hydrocarbons which are composed from carbon and hydrogen. These compounds range from the simplest molecule called methane made from 1 carbon atom to giant molecules containing even more than 50 carbon atoms. Many of these… Read More »Bacteria in Oilfields

Algae: A machine to make energy

In the beginning there was carbon dioxide, water and sunlight on our Earth and its environment. The same carbon dioxide which is the end product of today’s industrial processes. The factories spew carbon dioxide. Scientists are finding ways to fix this carbon dioxide which is the major cause of greenhouse effect and results in trapping the heat and disallows it dissipate and result in Global warming. Whereas in the present climate living beings mostly use oxygen to breakup the food and convert it to glucose and energy, in the beginning only organism that thrived on carbon dioxide was called green… Read More »Algae: A machine to make energy

Eggs: A concoction of Chemicals

Chicken eggs are convenient food item. It is easy to make a number of recipes. They can be scrambled, boiled, fried, or poached. Eggs are used in custards and cakes and so many other confectioneries. The versatility of eggs is a reflection of their intricate chemical makeup. Eggs contain a big list of chemicals including proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. We wrongly think that eggshells are impervious. Eggs do have holes. A single eggshell is perforated by 9,000 pores, on average. The shell forms the egg’s container, protecting it and acting as a permeable membrane for air and moisture… Read More »Eggs: A concoction of Chemicals