In the early 1990s a large-scale and very expensive experiment was conducted in Arizona call Biosphere 2 in which scientists attempted to create, under giant sealed greenhouses, a biosphere that replicated the self-regulating life support systems of Planet Earth. It was completely sealed from the earth’s natural support systems and was lived in for two years by eight researchers to see if humans might in the future be able to design such a biosphere for self-sufficient living that might allow escape from our evolved planetary biosphere. In this TED talk, Jane Poynter, one of the eight inhabitants of Biosphere 2 tells of her experiences and what the experiment discovered. here (for both the video and the transcripts in a number of different languages). The story and controversies of the experiment are detailed in Wikipedia here.