Spirulina — from space to Congo

Spirulina — from space to Congo

European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti ate the first food containing spirulina in space. Ms. Cristoforetti is the seventh ESA astronaut and the first female ESA astronaut to complete a long-duration mission in space. Preparing for long missions far from Earth, astronauts will need to harvest their own food…

New Genome Editing Platform for Oleaginous Microalgae

New Genome Editing Platform for Oleaginous Microalgae

In a new study published in the Plant Journal, PhD student WANG Qintao, Dr. LU Yandu and their teammates from the Single Cell Center at Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of Chinese Academy of Sciences established a novel genome editing platform for the industrial oleaginous…

Meet the Ring Garden: desalination and algae bioreactor

Meet the Ring Garden: desalination and algae bioreactor

Tafline Laylin writes for Inhabitat.com about the elegant solution that Romanian designer Alexandru Predonu has conceived that uses solar energy to power a rotating desalination plant and farm that not only produces clean drinking water for the city of Santa Monica, but also food crops – including algae…

Algae adds traction for new surfboards

Algae adds traction for new surfboards

Alexander Haro, Senior Editor for Inertia, reports that Slater Designs and Firewire Surfboards are collaborating with BLOOM Foam to make “arguably the most environmentally-friendly traction pad on the market today.” In general, Mr. Haro says, “Surfing is a bit of an environmental disaster, involving toxic surfboards…

Demand booming in China for algal EPA-fortified eggs

Demand booming in China for algal EPA-fortified eggs

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) fortified eggs are developing quite a demand among middle and upper-class consumers in China. With clinical trials demonstrating that EPA can improve blood circulation and reduce the formation of blood clots, among many other positive attributes, retailors in major cities including Beijing…

Seaweed as a wood finish

Seaweed as a wood finish

Benedict O’Donnell writes in the EU Research and Innovation magazine, Horizon, about research being developed on seaweed as a biological, environmentally friendly, sustainable, alternative to oil-based varnish for wood preservation. The NEXT1KOAT project, which was coordinated by Francisco Melero from the…

Artificial cartilage grown using alginate

Artificial cartilage grown using alginate

Labnews.co.uk writes about a team of engineers using a 3D printer and bioink — a material made from living cells — to produce artificial cartilage. It is suitable for large-scale bioprinting, as it is unicellular and contains no blood vessels. The artificial cartilage produced is very similar to cow cartilage. “Our goal is to create…

“Porous Substrate Bioreactor” developed at U. of Cologne

“Porous Substrate Bioreactor” developed at U. of Cologne

Gaynor Selby writes in foodingredientsfirst.com that a team of scientists and researchers at the University of Cologne believe they have made a breakthrough that could lead to cultivating algae on a commercial scale in a much cheaper way than is currently possible. Head of botany and algae specialist professor…

Volkswagen shows algae biogas-powered vehicle

Volkswagen shows algae biogas-powered vehicle

Bioenergy-news.com reports that Volkswagen showcased its algae biogas-powered vehicle at a biogas project based in El Torno Chiclana, a town in south-west Spain. The test vehicle was unveiled at a presentation for the “All-gas biogas project,” run by Aqualia, a water management subsidiary of FCC Group…

Algae buildings coming to Australia?

Algae buildings coming to Australia?

A multi-disciplinary team bringing together science, sustainable building design and architecture may soon develop the first living algae buildings in Australia. Their unique collaboration has seen a comprehensive feasibility study conducted on behalf of the City of Sydney, with plans to create the first flat facade algae panel this year…

Envisioning a car-free, algae-powered city

Envisioning a car-free, algae-powered city

Adele Peters writes in fastcoexist.com about a tiny piece of land between Croatia and Serbia — a disputed territory that doesn’t clearly belong to either country — where a group of libertarians is hoping to build a micronation dubbed the Free Republic of Liberland — a country they self-proclaimed into existence in 2015…

Radical Option novel shows how humans and algae might unite

Radical Option novel shows how humans and algae might unite

What if humans could make the energy they need from sunlight, air and water — like algae, plants and trees? What if humans could perform…photosynthesis? The algae-powered adventure novel Radical Option dives deep into how modifying human DNA could give humanity the edge it needs to combat the climate crisis…

Printmaking artist creates paper from algae

Printmaking artist creates paper from algae

Jan Engoren, of tribpub.com writes in Sun-Sentinal.com about Ingrid Schindall, a new artist in residence at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) Arthur and Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts, who is taking an algal spin on papermaking. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, Ms. Schindall studied printmaking with…

The algal key to increased crop yields

The algal key to increased crop yields

Algae may hold the key to feeding the world’s burgeoning population. If algae’s efficiency at taking in carbon dioxide from the air could be transferred to crops, we could grow more food in less time using less water and less nitrogen fertilizer. New work from a team led by Carnegie Institution for Science’s Martin Jonikas…

Combining algae and microfluidics for fresh air indoors

Combining algae and microfluidics for fresh air indoors

Natasha Lomas reports for TechCrunch that Artveoli, a biotech startup, is building an air purifying device that aims to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen in indoor environments, such as offices and homes, by harnessing the photosynthetic properties of algae. “It’s like having trees inside buildings,” is Artveoli’s…

Biodigital architecture and “agri-urban” ecosystems

Biodigital architecture and “agri-urban” ecosystems

Marco Poletto, is both a PhD student at Aarhus School of Architecture and partner in London-based ecoLogicStudio, a firm which creates eco-friendly urban systems that interact with the inhabitants of cities. As a research fellow at Aarhus, Mr. Poletto is part of the so-called ADAPT-r programme…

Student idea for growing algae in space to produce oxygen

Student idea for growing algae in space to produce oxygen

Will Blackler, an Astronautics and Space Engineering MSc student at Cranfield University in England, outlined a system where algae could provide astronauts in the International Space Station (ISS) with oxygen. He submitted his idea to the Airbus annual National Student Space Competition last month and won £200…

17-year-old invents device to clean polluted streams

17-year-old invents device to clean polluted streams

Chris Weller writes for techinsider.io about 17-year-old Paige Brown, of Bangor, Maine, who created a novel way to pull harmful phosphorus from her local streams – an idea that won her the Global Good Prize and $150,000 in college tuition…

Algae compound testing well as cancer fighter

Algae compound testing well as cancer fighter

Coibamide A, a compound produced by a unique community of blue-green algae, has potent anti-cancer activity in mice and cell cultures that model brain tumors and triple negative breast cancer, two of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat types of cancer, according to a new study…

VMG and TerraVia building algae platform TerraBrands

VMG and TerraVia building algae platform TerraBrands

VMG Partners, a private equity fund focused exclusively on partnering with emerging branded consumer product companies, and TerraVia™ (formerly known as Solazyme), a leader in algae-based food, nutrition and specialty ingredients, have announced the launch of TerraBrands. The new venture combines VMG’s…

Building a solar farm on the Tijuana River

Building a solar farm on the Tijuana River

Carolina A. Miranda writes in the LA Times that Los Angeles has been examining the role its river can play in the city’s greater ecology. Even architect Frank Gehry is involved in a makeover for the L.A. River. In Tijuana, Mexico, however, another architect is devising a plan to turn the Tijuana River channel…

Developing algae to target wastewater contaminants

Developing algae to target wastewater contaminants

Sean Myers reports that University of Calgary researchers have found a way to program algae with bacterial genes to target unwanted chemicals and pharmaceuticals that end up in wastewater. Lee Jackson, scientific director of the Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) research facility…

Algae + pig manure = feed + biogas

Algae + pig manure = feed + biogas

Sean Murphy writes for ABC News Australia that pig effluent could be used to grow algae or seaweed that is fed back to pigs as part of a closed-loop system for intensive piggeries. Pig manure can also help reduce use of costly fertilizer in the process. Researchers at Murdoch University’s Algae Research and…

Seeing the light — with a little help from algae optogenetics

Seeing the light — with a little help from algae optogenetics

Katherine Bourzac writes in Technology Review that if all goes according to plan, sometime next month a surgeon in Texas will use a needle to inject viruses laden with DNA from light-sensitive algae into the eye of a legally blind person in a trial that could let the patient see again, if only in blurry black-and-white…

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