I found a cool article that talks about how photosynthesis came to be 3 billion year old process where there was no oxygen. Now somehow the proteins were able to change to oxidize water to release oxygen.
Photosynthesis is the most important biological process driving the biosphere. It harnesses the energy of sunlight, and provides us with our main sources of food and fuel. The study of photosynthesis has allowed scientists not only to understand the intricacies of how organisms use light to drive their metabolism, but has also paved the way for technological advances into sustainable energy sources.
"The photosynthetic process first came into being roughly 3 billion years ago, before Earth's atmosphere contained oxygen," said Kevin Redding, a professor in the School of Molecular Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, whose group is leading the research at ASU. "Photosynthesis works by using specialized membrane proteins, called photosynthetic reaction centers, which collect the energy from light and use it to pump electrons across a biological membrane from one cellular electron carrier to another, resulting in conversion of electromagnetic (i.e. light) energy into chemical energy, which the organism can use."
A great deal of research has determined that these reaction centers appeared just once on the planet, and have since diversified to perform different sorts of chemistry.
Despite the diversification, the reaction centers retain the same overall architecture, reflecting their common origin. During the last 3 billion years these proteins have been elaborated and changed and it has been difficult to reconstruct what happened over this enormous period of time. However, we do know that one of them developed the ability to oxidize water, releasing oxygen. This changed the world irrevocably, and allowed for life as we know it today.
Photosynthesis is the process of converting light into energy. This natural process makes it possible for plants and other organisms to create food when it is required. The majority of the process of photosynthesis takes place in a plant's mesophyll cells' chloroplasts. In order for a plant to make its own food through the process of photosynthesis it requires three things: carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight.
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