Humans Go Green

Solar Powered Humans

Humans mimic the Spotted Salamander to become solar powered

127 years ago, the biologist, Henry Orr, collected spotted salamander eggs from a swampy pool. He noticed that some of the eggs were green. This was the presence of algae. Orr presented the idea that the algae and eggs had a symbiotic relationship. Orr was right, however the algae just didn’t exist next to the eggs, scientist today have found that the algae actually invade the cells of the growing embryo, becoming part of its body resulting in the salamanders becoming solar-powered animals. This means that they are the first back-boned (vertebrate) animals to harvest the energy of the sun in the style of plants. The symbiotic relationship consists of the algae providing nutrients and oxygen to the embryos and in return the algae feast upon the salamanders waste. This solar powered feature of the salamander will be the focus of designing a system for solar powered humans.

Humans can do it too!

Plants use energy from sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into an energy-rich sugar called glucose. This process is called photosynthesis, which means “making things with light”.
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Algae is the key to soaking up the sun's energy! How does it work?

Algae range in size from microscopic to meters long and from single-celled to complex organisms that rival large plants. These organisms may look like true plants, but unlike plants, algae do not have roots or true stems and leaves.

Go Green Design Process...

Actual Model created based on prototype

Here is a model of a woman's egg (blue). The yellow areas is the single cell with nucleus that contains the human's genetic material waiting to be fertilized and combined with a man's genetic material to create an embryo and future human being. The green area in the center is algae. There is a syringe showing algae being injected into the cell. This will only have to happen one time, once the human's cells contain the algae, the gene will be hereditary and automatically passed down to future generations. This will allow all human's to eventually use the sun's light as energy, just as plants do!

Benefits of humans using solar energy

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Come On! What are you waiting for? Let's soak up the sun's energy!

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ELED 406

Biomimicry project

By Caitlin Smith