|26 May 2004 @ 14:19, by ming|
From Ming the Mechanic: Via Sounding Circle, from Reuters, news of how researchers are beginning to understand how plants manage to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
"Results by other groups, including those obtained using lower resolution x-ray crystallography at 3.7 angstroms, have shown that the splitting of water occurs at a catalytic center that consists of four manganese atoms," said So Iwata of Imperial's Department of Biological Sciences.
Single cells found in plants or animals, or by themselves as bacteria have for billions of years mastered some clever nano-technology tricks which we'd obviously love to duplicate.
"We've taken this further by showing that three of the manganese atoms, a calcium atom, and four oxygen atoms form a cubelike structure, which brings stability to the catalytic center," Iwata added in a statement. "Together this arrangement gives strong hints about the water-splitting chemistry."