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In plants, these proteins are held inside organelles called chloroplasts, which are most abundant in leaf cells, while in bacteria they are embedded in the plasma membrane.In these light-dependent reactions, some energy is used to strip electrons from suitable substances, such as water, producing oxygen gas.The hydrogen freed by the splitting of water is used in the creation of two further compounds that serve as short-term stores of energy, enabling its transfer to drive other reactions: these compounds are reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the "energy currency" of cells.In plants, algae and cyanobacteria, long-term energy storage in the form of sugars is produced by a subsequent sequence of reactions called the Calvin cycle; some bacteria use different mechanisms, such as the reverse Krebs cycle, to achieve the same end.The chamber could be sized to accommodate large objects, such as works of art and even the Shroud of Turin, which some believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, Rowe said.He acknowledged, however, that it would take a significant amount of data to convince museum directors, art conservators, and others that the new method causes no damage to such priceless objects The scientists are currently refining the technique.Rowe hopes to use it, for instance, to analyze objects such as a small ivory figurine called the "Venus of Brassempouy," thought to be about 25,000 years old and one of the earliest known depictions of a human face.The figurine is small enough to fit into the chamber used for analysis.
In theory, it could even be used to date the Shroud of Turin." Rowe explained that the new method is a form of radiocarbon dating, the archaeologist's standard tool to estimate the age of an object by measuring its content of naturally-occurring radioactive carbon.
Composite image showing the global distribution of photosynthesis, including both oceanic phytoplankton and terrestrial vegetation.
Dark red and blue-green indicate regions of high photosynthetic activity in the ocean and on land, respectively.
A professor emeritus at Texas A&M University College Station, Rowe teaches at a branch of the university in Qatar.
Traditional carbon dating involves removing and burning small samples of the object.