Monday, April 4, 2011

Green Glass

Trees are being butchered everyday. These organisms convert atmospheric carbon  dioxide and convert it into oxygen and starch, food and air for every other organism on the planet. What makes it so amazing? Choloroplasts, cell organelles in mesenchymous cells in the leaves of plants that do the magic.

With our landscape changing from jungles to the urban jungles... we constantly see trees being cut down to form buildings. Massive constructions with many surfaces covered in glass. A simulation of the green house effect.

Extensive tissue culture projects are making progress in our times, and today struck a chord in my mind that I am to share with you today. How about develop massive leaves in the form of glass. What I mean by that is to beg nature to take its course through an artificially induced worktable for photosynthesis.

If we can culture the very same mesenchymatic tissue as seen in plants. we can have the critical bulk of the leaf right there on a media, right? Now the problem of course is that this is tissue culture, not organ culture. So you can't really supply every cell with nutrients and extract the starch because for all that you need more tissue like the vascular tissue (The veins, the phloem and the xylem etc).

How do we overcome this problem? parallel venation as seen in the banana leaf? Maybe artificial veins made up of zeolites( a microscopically narrow tube made up of aluminium and silicate with a radius large enough)? How about porous polymers with a nature to be able to pull the extracts through it by capillary motion?

The problem arises when we try to mimic nature too much. Nature does that so that it can conserve as much materials as possible. In a scenario where we need to turn green without having to wait for organoculture to develop a little extra materials don't cause much harm, right? Why not have the cells grow to only one or 3 layers and create a membrane right on top of that (Mimicking the basement membrane) and have fluid media spread around on top of it rich and even? The media can be circulated into the glass and out where we could easily remove the starch and enrich the media before recycling it through the Green Glass?

Imagine: Massive buildings covered in green glass carrying out photosynthesis, covering our landscape. We won't need to worry about global warming too much after that, right?

Ofcourse. One has to ignore smaller issues one might encounter in the process as that of contamination, the recycling of the media. These are solutions that can be worked on.

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