Scientists have discovered new ways to extract energy from photosynthesis, the natural process that powers most of life on Earth.
An international team of physicists, chemists, and biologists led by the University of Cambridge studied photosynthesis in live cells at an ultrafast timescale and found that the chemicals that extract electrons from the process do so at the initial stages, rather than later as previously thought.
This discovery could improve the efficiency of photosynthesis and lead to new ways of generating clean fuel and renewable energy.
The research was published in the journal Nature.
Dr Jenny Zhang from the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, who led the research, said that the discovery of a new electron transfer pathway in photosynthesis was surprising.
Zhang also stated that the molecule’s interplay with photosynthetic machinery at such an early stage of photosynthesis had not been studied properly before.
She added that they thought they were just confirming what they already knew using a new technique, but instead, they discovered a new pathway, which opened up the black box of photosynthesis a bit further.
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