Nature’s smallest energy powerhouse is the topic of the next Frontiers of Science Lecture at Syracuse University
Nature’s smallest energy powerhouse is the topic of the next Frontiers of Science Lecture at Syracuse UniversityNovember 04, 2002Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Samuel Chan, professor of biology at Syracuse University, will present “Nature’s Smallest Rotary Engine: Energy Harvesting by Animals and Plants” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12 in the College of Law’s Grant Auditorium. The lecture, presented by the Frontiers of Science Lecture Series, is free and open to the public.
Middle-school students learn early on about plant and animal cells and the life processes that happen millions of times daily in all living organisms. One of the essential life processes is the ability of organisms to synthesize energy-adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-in the mitochondria of animal and plant cells, in the chloroplasts of plant cells and in bacteria. These tiny cell organelles are the world’s smallest rotary motors. Average human beings, for example, synthesize their own body weight of ATP every day. The efficiency of these machines (or lack of efficiency) has a significant impact on healthy body functions and on obesity, heart disease and cancers.
Chan will discuss the biochemical mechanisms that drive these tiny rotary motors that are an essential part of the life process.
The Frontiers of Science Lecture Series is sponsored by SU’s departments of Science Teaching, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Physics in The College of Arts and Sciences; the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science; the School of Education; the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; and several community organizations. The series is designed to increase public awareness of advances in science and to stimulate thought and discussion about the moral, ethical and societal implications of the advances.