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Photosynthesis: The Crazy Little Molecular Engine That Could

Last week, NPR and I shared a little paean to photosynthesis, which I defined as "the molecular scale shenanigans plants use create food from sunlight."

The piece was short, coming in at under three minutes. That doesn't leave a lot of time to talk details. So, in the interest of scientific completeness, we present the above video which goes into lovely details, including the baroque Calvin Cycle.

You can also find other video explanations here and here.


Adam Frank is a co-founder of the 13.7 blog, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, a book author and a self-described "evangelist of science." You can keep up with more of what Adam is thinking on Facebook and Twitter: @adamfrank4

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Adam Frank was a contributor to the NPR blog 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. A professor at the University of Rochester, Frank is a theoretical/computational astrophysicist and currently heads a research group developing supercomputer code to study the formation and death of stars. Frank's research has also explored the evolution of newly born planets and the structure of clouds in the interstellar medium. Recently, he has begun work in the fields of astrobiology and network theory/data science. Frank also holds a joint appointment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Department of Energy fusion lab.

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