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.