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Science

Carbon -- a versatile gift from nature

Carbon is available in many different forms: carbon dioxide, methane gas, coal, petroleum and natural gas. It is the active element of photosynthesis -- a key process for all living matter that combines water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to create usable energy, releasing unneeded oxygen as a byproduct. Genetic materials like proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, which store energy, are all carbon-based.

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