15 February 2006

Global Warming! Global Warming!

Climate scientists are not the most scrupulous citizens of planet earth as you will find by visiting Climate Audit. But there are excellent scientists in other, more established branches of science, who are attempting to meet the challenge.

You can tell who the real scientists are by whether they approach a problem as doomsayers, or whether they try to devise solutions to a problem.

Global warming just may have met its match. In research recently completed at Emory University School of Medicine, scientists have discovered a mutant enzyme that could enable plants to use and convert carbon dioxide more quickly, effectively taking more of that gas out of the atmosphere.

The findings were published online on January 19 and will appear in the February issue of the journal Protein Engineering Design and Selection. Ichiro Matsumura, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry at Emory University School of Medicine, is the senior author and principal investigator. The lead author is research specialist Monal R. Parikh.

During photosynthesis, plants and some bacteria convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into usable chemical energy. Scientists have long known that this process relies on the enzyme rubulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, also called RuBisCO. While RuBisCO is the most abundant enzyme in the world, it is also one of the least efficient. As Dr. Matsu-mura says, �All life pretty much depends on the function on this enzyme. It actually has had billions of years to improve, but remains about a thousand times slower than most other enzymes. Plants have to make tons of it just to stay alive.�

Of course, plants could be designed to make diamonds out of the CO2 in the air just as well as be designed to grow faster. One approach creates a crystalline mineral, the other makes more cellulose. It really is a matter of choice.

The Kyoto Protocol has been shown to be ineffective, and unenforceable. It is an excuse for corrupt governments to feel they are actually doing something about a problem, when they are not. Fair enough. No one expects more of them at any rate. But please, you whankers, do not get in the way of people actually trying to achieve solutions.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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