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Green tech (literally): photosynthesis in human body | THRESHOLD

February 24, 2023
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Scientists have developed a way to give human cells the ability to photosynthesize like plants, which could be a groundbreaking anti-aging treatment. A team led by Prof. Fan Shunwu extracted tiny sacs called thylakoids from spinach that enable photosynthesis. They injected these “biological batteries” into the knee cartilage of aged mice with osteoarthritis. By exposing the mice to light, the thylakoids kickstarted photosynthesis inside the mouse cells, producing energy-storing chemicals. This recharged the cells, boosting their energy production and anabolism. After light therapy, the mice’s osteoarthritis was significantly improved – their joint health was restored to a level comparable to humans in their early 20s. The team repeated the experiment successfully on human cartilage cells. The approach could potentially be used against aging more broadly.