HC 177: Biotechnology & Art The Human Chloroplast Project Caryn Brenn Physiological Science Major
Abstract <ul><li>The Human Chloroplast Project takes the properties of photosynthesis used by plants and places them into individuals. The project allows humans to make their own food (glucose) using energy from the sun and carbon dioxide waste. Chloroplasts will be concentrated into a microchip and implanted into an individuals’ hand. The glucose will be transported into the blood and used to make energy via metabolic respiration. The goal of the project is not only create a work of bioart but also to help alleviate the global problem of hunger and starvation. The future of this project holds promise of transgenic insertion. Possible complications include cultural sensitivity, affordability, and issues of vitamins and nutrition. </li></ul>
World Hunger <ul><li>Everyday, all around the world people are dying from hunger. To be more precise, every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger . The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed one-third is starving. While it is often assume that starvation is only occurring in under-developed countries, it is the unfortunate truth that it is happening here is the US as well. One out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night . </li></ul><ul><li>Carbohydrates are organic compounds that are rich in starch and make up a essential part of the human diet. This includes cereals, bread, pasta, and simple sugars. During digestion, carbohydrates that we consume are broken down into monosaccharides, such as glucose, and are used by our cells for energy production. </li></ul>
Chloroplasts and Photosynthesis <ul><li>Chloroplasts are organelles found in plant cells that carry out photosynthesis. They use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. </li></ul><ul><li>Photosynthesis </li></ul><ul><li>Humans use cellular respiration, converting monosaccharides and oxygen into energy and carbon dioxide waste. </li></ul><ul><li>Respiration </li></ul>
The Human Chloroplast Project <ul><li>My project will take chloroplasts from plants, concentrate them into a microchip, and implant them into individuals. Individuals will then be able to carry out both photosynthesis and cellular respiration on their own, essentially creating their own food. </li></ul>+
The Human Chloroplast Project <ul><li>The chloroplasts will be hooked up to the portal system, removing carbon dioxide and water from the blood and adding oxygen and glucose. Ideally, the chip would be placed. near the lungs where carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen. However, in order to reduce invasiveness and make exposure to light easier, the chip will be placed in the hand or forearm of the individual. </li></ul>
The Human Chloroplast Project <ul><li>The project will initially involve implantation of a microchip and if success could evolve into a transgenic implantation. The chloroplast gene will be inserted into the DNA of specific cells, not the whole individual (we don’t want green humans!!). Transgenic cells will be located in an area that can be easily exposed to light. Transgenic mutation would also be more efficient in that the chloroplasts would be located within the cells, spatially near the mitochondria. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>The Human Chloroplast Project will implant chloroplasts into humans allowing them to create their own glucose using sunlight and hopefully reducing hunger across the world. This project will impact the food industry by reducing demand for grains and carbohydrates and increasing demands and allowing for more resources to be focused on production of produce and meats. </li></ul><ul><li>Possible Complications </li></ul><ul><li>-Cultural Sensitivity </li></ul><ul><li>-Affordability </li></ul><ul><li>-Nutrition, Vitamins </li></ul>
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