Sally asked in Science & MathematicsBiology · 1 decade ago

Serious biology 2 essay question, will humans ever turn green (meaning self sufficient, like plants)?

Will humans ever turn green, meaning self sufficient, and able to make their own food like plants. This could happen either naturally or in a lab situation. My Biology 2 teacher says everything is in place genetically for it to happen. I have to write a 3 page rough draft on this issue tonight, so any advise at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I don't know what your teacher is thinking, but we do not have the genes in our body to code for chloroplasts, or most importantly, plant enzymes like ribulose biphoshate carboxylase.

    Think of all the hurdels we would have to overcome. We first have to have reason to begin creating our own energy/sugar. Either other food sources are depleted, or creating our own energy is more efficient (which of course, it's not, it costs a LOT of ATP to create sugar)

    Second, how would we be able to capture light and turn it into energy without chlorophyll molecules? We first need to manufacture those molecules (of which we DO not already have blue prints in our genes), and then we need to organize our body to provide the chlorophyll near the surface to utilize light.

    Third, if photosynthesis were to occur at the surface of the human body (like being skin), the mechanism of shuttling that energy to another part of the body would be pointless, it would "cost" too much. So we would be creating glucose in our arms, legs... anywhere covered by skin. Then that glucose would have been transported to our stomaches to digest. But if we need glucose to digest to stay alive, how do we grow? We need to find a way to store more glucose than we consume.

    Another thing....how would the CO2 in our lungs be utilized in carbon fixation, if the energy is needed near our skin? The process of directing CO2 to other parts of the body requires energy.....

    See... there are just too many obsticles for this "evolution" to take place.

    Genetically, your teacher is dead wrong. We do not have the genetic code to produce plant enzymes right now. Unless some serious genetic modification and mutations happened, your teacher is wrong. Just bring up the enzyme ribulose biphosphate carboxylase. That's the BEST agrument I have.

    Because that enzyme is the MOST abundant enzyme in the world, and humans CAN NOT make it.

  • Bob D1
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It's a very good question and one that I have been thinking about for a very long time. I think that it would be a very difficult job to engineer an already existing organism, like a human being, to make use of photosynthesis as a viable energy source. If it is ever to work, it would have to be done at the earliest stages of development, fertilization. This is a very general broad spectrum approach, but It might be as simple as replacing half of the existing mitrochondria in the fertilized egg with an equal number of plant chloroplasts. And then let nature and development take its course.

    Now, there are many factors that would have to be considered in predicting the overall effect. It might be, however, that a "natural" symbiosis might occur between the input/output products of mitrochondria and that of chloroplasts creating a natural feedback loop of energy.

    It's an interesting concept and one that I feel researchers should carefully consider in the lab.

    Source(s): self
  • 1 decade ago

    sure....anything is possible, but there are such obstacles....like isolating genes that can produce energy for us....the hardest part in my mind might actually getting the these genes to "stick"....as in be replicated ar a cellular level.....im sure genetically, there is a way, but in reality, evolution would take an EXTREMELY long time for that to occur and altering genetics in humans isnt like sticking a plasmid into E. Coli and having it pump out protien product....hope that helps

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