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Thread: What could photosynthesis do for humans?

  1. #1 What could photosynthesis do for humans? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Lets say you could have an optimal integration of photosynthesis related plant DNA in humans (lets say alien genetic engineering technology in the year 3000)

    what could the sunlight's energy allow humans to do?

    go without food longer?

    go without oxygen while in the sun?

    more stamina while in the sun?

    (Edit: I just noticed a similar post , though Im not sure yet if it answers my question...)


    Last edited by icewendigo; June 14th, 2012 at 10:42 AM.
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    Even if we could somehow make our selves as efficient as plants, we'd be disappointed because of the huge amounts of energy we require just to maintain base metabolism. My back of the envelop comparison is something like:

    photosynthesis is something like 5% efficient; we have about 1 meter^2 surface area on one side so that that means no more than about 50 Watts which is about 40 Kcalories/hr while naked and outside on a sunny day.


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    Photosynthesis wouldn't do much for humans due to small surface area and because plants become unhealthy without sun so would we.
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    We'd be green.
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    Plant mitochondria and chloroplasts absorb radiant light energy and catalyse subsequent ADP/ATP conversion processes which 'powers' plant cellular metabolism. HUMAN mitochondria ALSO provide power for our metabolic processes by catalysing ADP/ATP conversion in what is known as 'The Electron Transport Chain'. This occurs due to 'radiant energy' (electrostatic/electromagnetic/ionic/etc) 'exciting' the porphyrin compounds (which intensely absorb and re-emit light) in our mitochondrial lamellae. In other words, whether or not you believe in a 'light-body' or a human 'aura', the facts indicate that (as in the beginning) LIGHT is the universal catalyst that supports plant AND human life.
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Catalyst? A poor choice of word, surely? And can you reasonably equate chemical changes powered by ionic reactivities with those powered by light?

    (Welcome to the forum by the way.)
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    Humans would not gain anything by introducing photosynthesis to our genetic structure. I don't like seeing naked people all day long. Well, some naked people fine, but not everybody, always. Also when going with public transportation we would have to whipe the seats.

    But seriously, photosynthesis is only usefull in cold blooded cells, as keeping the extra mass at temperature, would almost equalise their actual benefit. Not to mention another source of superoxides in the cells, where we would age at double or triple speeds.

    It can't be done in the same organism. Though externally in non living cells, it could be used to keep us cooler in the sun, and make sugars. I'm thinking of something like a vest, covered in solar active photosynthesis capable fibers, with pumps, filters, etc. If we ever got hungry, we just take a sip of sugar. And we often blow CO2 into it, suck up enriched air, and refill the compartiment with water.

    Would it be viable on our skin, no.. but this.. just might..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    i posted on a similar topic on this i said that after reading an article it said it would only give us about 1/6 of an apple's worth of energy. not enough to make a big diff'.

    but zwolfer's idea? maybe, just maybe... but that would depend on how efficient the vest would be. i would assume it wouldn't be nearly as efficient as plants, or that it would produce the same compounds due to difference in methods, even with high efficiency and output, would it even amount to be enough to supply enough food for a human to function?

    with all these variables, ithink that this widely discussed topic would not be practical, but brilliant in theory.
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    The word catalyst is a VERY carefully chosen word, John. If you look at Wikipedia's 'Discussion' section for 'The Electron Transport Chain' you will see that 52 years AFTER John Mitchell's Nobel winning discovery that the onset of the ADP/ATP conversion processes "is signalled by an initial current flow across mitochondrial lamellae", NO ONE can clearly explain what CAUSES that current flow (i.e. what 'catalyses' it). It is my suggestion that because human cells are abundantly supplied with porphyrin-laden lamellae within mitochondria, it is the absorption of 'radiant energy fields' by the porphyrin molecules that creates/catalyses/produces the current flow. It is a well established fact that the lamellae in sperm cells cause the 'electrical excitation' responsible for 'the wag in their tail', and in our optical system lamellae are responsible for the electrical excitation resulting in sight. It is nonsense to suggest that: (i) given all of the above, human mitochondrial lamellae are NOT involved, and (ii) the current attempts to explain a QUANTUM event (energy absorption and conversion to 'electrical excitation') can be explained in terms of its reactive PHYSICAL/chemical outcomes and processes. I also suggest that it is time for Western science's xenophobic rejection of all things Eastern cease forthwith. Words like 'chi', 'aura' and 'light-body' arose millenia before the technology existed to adequately define or explain those concepts. That is no reason to discount the ideas altogether, and in an era of photo-spectrophotometry, trans-cutaneous endo-neural stimulation (T.E.N.S. therapy... which is a blatant direct rip-off from acupuncture) it would serve science far better to exercise a little objectivity. There are MANY radiant energy fields throughout the human organism and porphyrin is known to be 'sensitive' to electrostatic fields, electromagnetic fields, and it also intensely absorbs light energy and can re-emit it at a later time. Further, porphyrin UNIQUELY 'remembers' FOUR bits of data rather than two because of its ability to 'store' two bits of electrostatic data as well as two bits of electromagnetic data. This adds another order of magnitude to 'memory capacity' and it is provocative to observe that porphyrin compounds are ABUNDANT at neural synapses! In the absence over the last 50+ years of any other plausible thesis, what I am suggesting should be objectively considered. Finally, porphyrin compounds originate from the pineal gland which is the 'Eastern Third Eye' which is the basis for ALL of the Easterm medical doctrines and practices that are proving to be so successful in our Western society. Let's face it John, if our science can't explain the most basic of all biological questions (i.e. what 'powers' our bodies?) then we are using either an incomplete, or faulty, paradigm. It would be good (if somewhat ironic) if the East and the West could finally meet in a harmonious amalgamation of their respective (and noble) Hippocratic Ideals to provide the answer.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    There is a key on your keyboard, it's name is "Enter", and it wants to be pressed sometimes.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  12. #11  
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    Photosynthesis would be a really cool way to make Vitamin D — oh, wait, it already does that for us.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceA View Post
    NO ONE can clearly explain what CAUSES that current flow (i.e. what 'catalyses' it).
    Why are you conflating cause with catalyse?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceA View Post
    It is my suggestion that because human cells are abundantly supplied with porphyrin-laden lamellae within mitochondria, it is the absorption of 'radiant energy fields' by the porphyrin molecules that creates/catalyses/produces the current flow.
    Again, you are simply restating that creation of an effect is equivalent to the catalysis of that effect. Without further explanation on your part it appears you do not understand what catalysis is. I am sure you can demonstrate this is not the case and then justify your claim that catalyst is the right word to use in this context. Nothing you have said so far comes cloes to doing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceA View Post
    I also suggest that it is time for Western science's xenophobic rejection of all things Eastern cease forthwith. Words like 'chi', 'aura' and 'light-body' arose millenia before the technology existed to adequately define or explain those concepts. That is no reason to discount the ideas altogether, and in an era of photo-spectrophotometry, trans-cutaneous endo-neural stimulation (T.E.N.S. therapy... which is a blatant direct rip-off from acupuncture) it would serve science far better to exercise a little objectivity. There are MANY radiant energy fields throughout the human organism and porphyrin is known to be 'sensitive' to electrostatic fields, electromagnetic fields, and it also intensely absorbs light energy and can re-emit it at a later time. Further, porphyrin UNIQUELY 'remembers' FOUR bits of data rather than two because of its ability to 'store' two bits of electrostatic data as well as two bits of electromagnetic data. This adds another order of magnitude to 'memory capacity' and it is provocative to observe that porphyrin compounds are ABUNDANT at neural synapses! In the absence over the last 50+ years of any other plausible thesis, what I am suggesting should be objectively considered. Finally, porphyrin compounds originate from the pineal gland which is the 'Eastern Third Eye' which is the basis for ALL of the Easterm medical doctrines and practices that are proving to be so successful in our Western society. Let's face it John, if our science can't explain the most basic of all biological questions (i.e. what 'powers' our bodies?) then we are using either an incomplete, or faulty, paradigm. It would be good (if somewhat ironic) if the East and the West could finally meet in a harmonious amalgamation of their respective (and noble) Hippocratic Ideals to provide the answer.
    If you wish to avoid sounding like a crank you need to do three things:
    1) Lose the emotive content of your posts.
    2) Provide some evidence to substantiate your assertions.
    3) Avoid the criticism of Western science

    Oh, and you might try the paragraph idea too.
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  14. #13  
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    BruceA,

    What do you mean by saying that nobody can clearly explain what causes the initial current flow? Do you realise that this is somewhat analogous to asking what causes water to initially flow over a waterfall?

    The electron transport chain generates the proton gradient; while that gradient is maintained, the protons can flow back across the membrane through the ATP synthase. There is no catalysis happening here - it's the controlled dissipation of an electrochemical gradient. The rate of proton flow can also be regulated by the ATP synthase complex. Again, this is not "catalysis". Why would light even be needed?

    Interestingly - and not connected to what you are claiming - mitochondria are known to emit light. The emission of so-called "biophotons" does not cause hydrated protons to flow back into the mitochondrial matrix through the ATP synthase complex.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    so to summarize, in the end after all this catalyst and ATP talk, is it still the case that, a super-mutant with the power of photosynthesis, would wield the superpower of drawing energy from the sun after a day of naked sunbathing, equivalent to eating an airplane's little bag of peanuts?



    Could it facilitate the creation of a super mutant that can breathe carbon dioxide gas instead of oxygen (or is more tolerant to high concentrations of CO2 than normal humans)?
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    so to summarize, in the end after all this catalyst and ATP talk, is it still the case that, a super-mutant with the power of photosynthesis, would wield the superpower of drawing energy from the sun after a day of naked sunbathing, equivalent to eating an airplane's little bag of peanuts?

    Could it facilitate the creation of a super mutant that can breathe carbon dioxide gas instead of oxygen (or is more tolerant to high concentrations of CO2 than normal humans)?
    The energy need for animals is just to high. You can't compensate that with plant mass. That's exactly the reason why plants don't move. It's evolutionarily not profitable, they use the wind, animals, insects to reproduce.

    With the higher CO2 value's tolerance, is another story. You would need different hemoglobine (would not call it hemoglobine), different acidic value of the blood, more blood pressure (about 2 atmosphere more), or a way to store oxygen in cells, other then dissolved or bound to red blood cells.

    There is a large difference between CO2 tolerance in the humans right now. some can handle 2 to 3 times more then average, while others can only tolerate a little over half that.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    There is a key on your keyboard, it's name is "Enter", and it wants to be pressed sometimes.
    But a few of the other keys told me that Enter is just attention-seeking and not to take any notice of it!
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceA View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    There is a key on your keyboard, it's name is "Enter", and it wants to be pressed sometimes.
    But a few of the other keys told me that Enter is just attention-seeking and not to take any notice of it!
    Those keys are lying, and therefor discriminating the enter key. You should concider supreme F1 court.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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