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Can we make photosynthesis more efficient?


Soybeans engineered by RIPE to better adapt to excess light are tested at the University of Illinois Energy Farm. Amanda De Souza/RIPE project

What if, actually, in some ways nature isn’t really as good at finding its way as we once thought? A recent piece in The New Yorker last month titled “Creating a Better Leaf” highlights an Illinois-based research project that argues “as remarkable as photosynthesis is, it needs to do better.”  And if science can find a way to help nature find a better way by tinkering with photosynthesis and making it more efficient, there is promise that it can help address the world’s global food crisis.

To talk about the project and its potential ramifications, we were joined by its director. Listen to the episode here


Stephen Long

Ikenberry Endowed University Chair of Crop Sciences and Plant Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign | Director the "Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency" (RIPE) project.

Prepared for web by Owen Henderson; Produced by: Ryan Andrew Wilde || The 21st Show

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