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Do all cells have the ability to perform photosynthesis?

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Do all cells have the ability to perform photosynthesis?

Postby deostroll » Fri May 16, 2008 5:22 pm

At least do cells in the human body have the ability to carry out photosynthesis?
PS: I happen to be a philosopher, rather than a true scientist...
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Re: Do all cells have the ability to perform photosynthesis?

Postby blcr11 » Fri May 16, 2008 6:16 pm

No. Only plants, some algae, some plankton (not sure where they are classified), and a very few archaebacteria (I think) can do photosynthesis. We lack the light harvesting centers and the enzymes like Rubisco that fix carbon dioxide.
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Postby mith » Fri May 16, 2008 11:46 pm

and pores for gas exchange.
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Postby MrMistery » Sat May 17, 2008 8:37 am

@blcr11
"plankton" is an ecological term that includes all organisms that float in the water(although an Euglena uses its flagellum and is still included in plankton). You cannot use it a systematic term. Plankton includes zooplankton and phytoplankton. The requirement for something to be classified as phytoplankton is that it carries out photosynthesis, but saying that is like saying the Earth has a geoid shape - it's circular.
Most plants and most algae(except the parasitic and symbiotic ones) carry out photosynthesis. There are also some Bacteria that do it(cyanobacteria are the most resonant). Organisms in the domain Archea do not carry out photosynthesis, although some are capable of using light to generate energy by light-driven ion pumps such as bacteriorodopsin(protons) and halorodopsin(chloride).

@deostroll
No. Photosynthesis is much more complicated than most books present it. We lack the complicate pathways for fixing CO2, the sucrose-centered metabolism and the many accessory pathways needed not only to carry out photosynthesis but also to put photosynthesis to work(amino acid synthesis, sulfur incorporation, the works). There are so many things we would need I'm not even going to try to present them all.

@Dave
Why do you think our circulatory system would not be able to cope with the high-CO2 requirement?

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Re: Do all cells have the ability to perform photosynthesis?

Postby deostroll » Sat May 17, 2008 11:51 pm

For photosynthesis cells need components called cholroplasts. Do eukaryotic cells contain these components and 'not perform' photosynthesis?
PS: I happen to be a philosopher, rather than a true scientist...
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Postby MichaelXY » Sun May 18, 2008 12:25 am

Plants consist of eukaryotic cells. Not all eukaryotic organisms contain chloroplast.

http://sun.menloschool.org/~cweaver/cells/
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Postby mith » Sun May 18, 2008 2:26 am

@andrew

Pretty sure our metabolic rates are not compatible. The lungs probably need to be much larger. Unless photosynthesis was some sort of supplementary source of food not primary.
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Postby MrMistery » Sun May 18, 2008 9:23 am

Our metabolic rates are definitely not compatible - in the sense that photosynthesis would never b able to supply enough glucose for our high metabolic rate. But that's exactly the catch: with our high metabolic rate, hemoglobin and accessory systems needs to move a lot more CO2 from the body to the lungs than it would require to move from the lungs to the photosynthetic organs(and the same goes for oxygen). No, i think that just because we have evolved to have such a high metabolic rate moving the gases would not be a problem.
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Re: Do all cells have the ability to perform photosynthesis?

Postby jonmoulton » Tue May 20, 2008 3:30 pm

@deostroll: you wrote "For photosynthesis cells need components called cholroplasts." However, cyanobacteria carry out photosynthesis without choroplasts.
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Postby ShrikeC145 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:56 am

Yes, we do to a certain extent, latest research has shown that mitochondria play a bigger role than expected in the functioning of the body cell, anyway, according the article (which I'll post the link to.) mitochondria cannot use normal visible light because it cannot penetrate the skin, however, they are able to utilise infrared rays and use it to generate energy to power the cell because these rays penetrate much deeper into the skin. Though I guess you couldn't really call it photosynthesis. But, decide for yourself:

http://www4.uwm.edu/about_uwm/news_pres ... 1602=59155

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Postby MrMistery » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:33 pm

the defining trait of autotrophy is using the energy of light to synthesize organic compounds. Using light as an information source is common throughout the living world - heck, our eyes do it all the time. that does not mean our eyes carry out photosynthesis.
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Postby Cat » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:04 pm

One more thing to add is:

All plant cells contain plastids, but not all plastids are chloroplasts and, therefore, not all plant cells carry out photosynthesis.
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