Monday, 28 July 2014

Plants in space number two



So I have just found the most amazing thing EVER! Please watch the video above - it might not be botanical art, but it is so very cool. It completely expands on what is possible. The film features the work by Julian Melchiorri and describes his Silk Leaf project, a piece which he developed as part of the Royal College of Art's Innovation Design Engineering course. The product of his studies on this course is the Silk Leaf - a pseudo-leaf which is made out of chloroplasts that are suspended in a matrix of silk protein. I am so impressed by this creation. Julian's grand idea is that this matrix could be used on all sort of things, such as cladding for large buildings or as a material for interior design, all of which could really help to address our CO2 build-up issue. Grand ideas indeed! But further to this he has even proposed the possibly of using this matrix in space to facilitate life in the cosmos. My only gripe is that we might have a problem in obtaining water out there in the abyss to make such a venture feasible, but I am sure that when there's a will there's a way.

All I want to know now is if this leaf can die like other leaves, or does it just keeping living?Wow, it's like having your very own botanical tamagotchi!

Melchiorri's Silk Leaf.

7 comments:

  1. Interesting. I wonder can it be worn too? The possibilities are endless.

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  2. What a brilliant and fascinating concept!!! Thank you for sharing the video. Now I must go and research Julian and his work ...
    Kathryn

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  3. Oh wow,this is amazing! Thanks for finding Jess xx

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    1. I thought it was too good not to share. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

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  4. Thanks for this one Jess.

    Even here I question the P/s claim as I'm not sure sufficient water could be absorbed from the atmosphere. Could it come from the matrix ? If so then once used up the structure would 'die', however does it need to be alive before it dies ? If P/s takes place, does it have a compensation point. Looking at the characteristics of living organisms, it seems to fall short of many. I wonder if these chloroplast extracts have any nucleic acid ?

    Shall certainly be interested in following this one further.
    Chris

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    1. All if my thoughts exactly Chris... Especially the water issue. Plus CO2 really, as most of the time space is a vacuum surely? I guess he means it would just live off the CO2 spacemen would give off in a closed environment, which makes more sense, but outside the cabin it just wouldn't work. I would like another more technical video. Maybe we should ask Julian? Regardless of this though, its a marvellous concept.

      What I really want to see now is a leaf that photosynthises using other elements snd compounds...

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