The First Man Made Leaf Looks like a Leaf

Van Mensvoort
August 14th 2014

Recent Royal College of Art graduate Julian Melchiorri created a synthetic biological leaf that absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant.

Like the leaves of a plant, the man made leaf needs light and a small amount of water to produce oxygen. According to its designer, applications range from living lamps, to architectural facades, to climate systems in space ships, enabling long term space traveling. The leaf consists of chloroplasts suspended in a matrix made out of silk protein.

Dezeen did a video interview with the young inventor of the artificial leaf, which deliberately or not, looks a lot like the familiar leaves of an older nature.

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What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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