Banded iron formation – Odra Noel

Banded iron formations (BIFs) contain well developed iron-rich thin alternating layers or laminations as seen here.

In the beginning, there was no oxygen, and iron dissolved in the oceans. When photosynthesis got going, oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere and oceans. Some of the dissolved iron oxidised – rusted – and precipitated to the sea floor. Sedimentary layers of iron covered the bottom of the oceans making some of the most stunning and colourful geological records.The name comes from the various coloured layers.

This work was made for an exhibition on the theme of photosynthesis at the Royal Institution in London. And as it is a personal allowance to read your name in the clouds of the sky and the layers of the rocks; I have done it quite literarily here. This work is not otherwise signed, only dated.

banded iron formations – the RI

Banded iron formations (BIFs) contain well developed iron-rich thin alternating layers or laminations as seen here.

In the beginning, there was no oxygen, and iron dissolved in the oceans. When photosynthesis got going, oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere and oceans. Some of the dissolved iron oxidised – rusted – and precipitated to the sea floor. Sedimentary layers of iron covered the bottom of the oceans making some of the most stunning and colourful geological records.The name comes from the various coloured layers.

This work was made for an exhibition on the theme of photosynthesis at the Royal Institution in London. As distinctive units of sedimentary rock that are almost always of Precambrian age, banded iron formations certainly predate the creation of the Royal Institution. But the connections of the Ri with photosynthesis and with light in a wider sense are many over the years.

Banded iron formation – the Z system

Banded iron formations (BIFs) contain well developed iron-rich thin alternating layers or laminations as seen here.

In the beginning, there was no oxygen, and iron dissolved in the oceans. When photosynthesis got going, oxygen began to accumulate in the atmosphere and oceans. Some of the dissolved iron oxidised – rusted – and precipitated to the sea floor. Sedimentary layers of iron covered the bottom of the oceans making some of the most stunning and colourful geological records.The name comes from the various coloured layers.

A Z shaped diagram is sometimes used to explain the light-dependent reactions that take place during photosynthesis. As banded iron formations take many shapes, ‘Zs’ are not uncommon, and a suitable nod to the mechanisms that produced them.

Partners in crime II – chloroplasts and mitochondria

Chloroplasts are found in the cells of plants that conduct photosynthesis. They absorb sunlight and use it along with water and carbon dioxide gas (CO2) to produce food for the plant.

Mitochondria generate the energy that cells need to function. The energy made by the mitochondria is in the form of a chemical called adenosine triphosphate or ATP.

Partners in crime I – chloroplasts and mitochondria

Chloroplasts are found in the cells of plants that conduct photosynthesis. They absorb sunlight and use it along with water and carbon dioxide gas (CO2) to produce food for the plant.

Chloroplasts are the magic making masters. Inside the chloroplast, the pigment chlorophyll seems to turn light into matter, in fact using the energy of sunlight to make organic molecules. Chloroplasts were free-living cyanobacteria once.

Mitochondria generate the energy that cells need to function. The energy made by the mitochondria is in the form of a chemical called adenosine triphosphate or ATP.

Mitchell’s equation I

This work belongs to the Mitchell’s dream series, inspired by the Chemiosmotic hypothesis that penetrates all biology. The Nobel prize winning British biochemist Peter Mitchell first published his ideas on the proton motive force in Nature in 1961. The equations here suggest the mitochondrial network.

Erich Gnaiger wrote a short paper inspired by these images. You can read it here.

Light wall – moss leaf

This image shows the leaf of a wall moss under the microscope. A wall moss is a small flowerless plant that grows in a dense green clump. The individual plants are usually composed of simple, one-cell thick leaves, attached to a stem that may be branched or unbranched and has only a limited role in conducting water and nutrients.