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© Image 2015 Julian Melchiorri
Julian explains his project © 2014
Silk leaf is basically a minimalistic leaf that photosynthesizes, thus absorbs CO² and produces oxygen. It is mostly composed by silk protein and chloroplasts. It was developed by the Artist Julian Melchiorri in London."Plants don't grow in zero gravity," explains Melchiorri. "NASA is researching different ways to produce oxygen for long-distance space journeys to let us live in space. This material could allow us t0 explore space much further than we can now."
An oxygen producing fassade, we could have a rain forrests in our cities © 2015 Dezeen
The material could also be used at a much larger scale: Facades, ventilation systems and entire houses could be covered by this material. You can absorb air from outside, pass it through these biological filters and then bring oxygenated air inside.

However, he scientific article is not published yet and open questions remain: During photosynthesis, sugars are normally produced and stored in the vacuole. However, in this case, there is no vacuole… so how long will chloroplasts survive?



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About the author

View full profile Jérôme Lutz from Berlin & Munich, Germany

I like to share the great things I discover daily while researching and working in the field of Synthetic Biology.

When I talk to people about it, they often refer to Science Fiction. However, when I send them links to this wiki and they read through those pages, they start understanding that this is real and it's happening right now.