Sustainable Systems – Sustainable processes in Nature

Simple Sustainable Process in Nature:

Oxygenic Photosynthesis:

Photosynthesis-process

Photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae and bacteria to harness ghe energy of the sun and convert it into chemical energy.

 

Photosynthetic processes can be of two types ; oxygenic photosynthesis and anoxygenic photosynthesis.During oxygenic photosynthesis, light energy reduces Carbon Dioxide and oxidizes water to produce oxygen along with glucose. On the other hand, anoxygenic photosynthesis uses electron donors other than water. Anoxygenic photosynthesis does not produce oxygen. Plants and algae use oxygenic photosynthesis, while certain bacteria use anoxygenic photosynthesis.

 

Oxygenic photosynthesis functions as a counterbalance to respiration. It takes in the carbon dioxide produced by all breathing organisms and converts it into oxygen which is then introduced into the atmosphere. This oxygen is then utilized by breathing organisms, who convert it into carbon dioxide. This is then picked up by plants, photosynthesized and reintroduced once again as oxygen. Thus I identify it as a sustainable process. In 1998, Wim Vermaas ( a professor at Arizona State University) concluded that without photosynthesis, the oxygen in the atmosphere would be depleted within a few thousand years.[1]

 

Oxygen is the nectar of life and glucose the power house of energy. Thus one of the simplest processes helps in maintaining one of the most complex machines on the earth.

 

Complex Process:

Coagulation:

coagulation

Coagulation is the complex process by which blood forms clots and then heals a wound or a cut which stops the bleeding. Hemostasis is the term given to stopping blood loss from damaged blood vessels. Coagulation forms an integral part of hemostasis.

 

The human body is the most complex machine in the entire universe. To withstand the vagaries of nature, innumerable complex processes are at play every single moment. One such process is the coagulation of blood.

 

Coagulation is a sequential process which involves the interaction of numerous components of blood called coagulation factors. This interaction leads to the production of Factor X. This in turn leads to the split of prothrombin into thrombin. Prothrombin is a protein found in blood plasma. Thrombin acts a catalyst in the conversion of fibrinogen –  a soluble plasma protein – into long sticky threads of fibrin. These fibrin threads then form a mesh which trap, platelets, blood plasma and blood cells. In a few minutes, the fibrin meshwork begins to contract, this squeezing out its fluid contents. This is the final step in the process of coagulation, which yields an insoluble blood clot. This blood clot has the ability to withstand the friction of blood flow.[1]

 

Any insult triggers of the coagulation cascade wherein the platelets and various other clotting factors in the blood are activated to form a clot which in turn seals of further loss of blood and prevents severe loss of blood. For some, coagulation may take longer than it does for others, but it does take place (except in case of haemophilia). Hence, I identify this as a sustainable process.

 

 

[1] “Coagulation,” Encyclopædia Britannica, , accessed April 05, 2017, https://www.britannica.com/science/coagulation-of-blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Aparna Vidyasagar, “What Is Photosynthesis?,” LiveScience, July 31, 2015, , accessed April 04, 2017, http://www.livescience.com/51720-photosynthesis.html.

 

 

 

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