This GMO could solve climate change?? (Read before voting)
GMOs get a bad rep, but there are some that could do incredible things. Scientists have postulated that a synthetic enzyme could help reduce global warming effects by reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.
In plants, photosynthesis is used to turn energy, carbon dioxide and water into sugars.
One essential part of this process is the Calvin Cycle, which attaches CO2 to ribulose biphosphate, a 5 carbon sugar. This is an energetically unfavorable reaction, so it required a biological catalyst, or an enzyme, to help it along. The enzyme used is called ribulose biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. This enzyme has like a ridiculously long name, so it is often called "Rubisco" which I know sounds like an off brand toilet cleaner but ok.
Rubiso is an extremely inefficient enzyme. It's only capable of catalyzing 2-3 reactions per second, which is slow compared to most enzymes that can catalyze thousands.
It's postulated that synthetic Rubisco which has a more effective active site could be introduced to plants and allow them to catalyze more reactions per second, "recycling," in a sense, more CO2, producing oxygen. This could also allow plants to grow faster (though not exponentially so, most of the sugars produced in this reaction actually go back into regenerating the Calvin Cycle) Projections with certain plants are optimistic.
This obviously has problems. One big one is that slow reaction rate is not always the limiting factor to plant growth. This can be due also to water levels, nitrogen in the soil, etc. Another is that making the plant accept the enzyme is very difficult. However, this is still a promising hypothesis.
My question is, would you consider this as something that could be implemented to help climate change sometime in the future? Is this ethical? Does this make you wary, or scare you? What's up??
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