Science: Theory Exploded

In grotesque fragments last week lay a venerable theory which sought to explain the most important chemical reaction on earth: photosynthesis. Theory-busters were a group of young biochemists, headed by Samuel Ruben, at the University of California. They have penetrated deeper than anyone so far into the mysterious process by which the sun's energy pouring earthward in the form of light is captured by chlorophyll and stored as carbohydrates, the basic food of animal life.

Green plants take water, carbon dioxide (from the air) and energy (from light), transform them with the help of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!