More than 99% of life on Earth is dependent one way or another on oxygenic photosynthesis, the process of harnessing sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into some form of food. It has been a central engine of life and influence on the Earth’s ecosystem since the dawn of life.
Dr Tanai Cardona’s research is allowing his team of evolutionary biologists to travel back in time to piece together this story of early life on Earth and how nature’s own solar panels first came into being. At the same time as looking to the distant past they are bringing photosynthesis into the future – hoping to evolve its machinery further in the lab, and go beyond what biology can do. The aim is to power new chemistry to produce new greener drugs and address global challenges like climate change, global hunger and the pollution of the natural world.
At this Reddit Ask me anything session Dr Cardona and colleagues will be taking question on all things photosynthesis, from its origins in the fossil record to its future applications.
Imperial Lates Online
This event is part of Imperial Lates Online: The Sun. Tune in for a week-long celebration of the Sun and its life-giving energy as we take a scientific journey into the heart of our star from 15-18 March.
Imperial Lates Online are most suitable for over 18s.