Microalgal biodiesel tests in Chile show much lower emissions

Microalgal biodiesel tests in Chile show much lower emissions

Fis.com reports that the first Chilean tests of microalgae biodiesel in high-powered diesel engines show that a reduction of gases emissions and particulate matter of up to 80 per cent can be achieved in engines like those used by Trans-Santiago buses and trucks. The measurements were carried out within the framework of a…

Predicting climate change via mesocosms

Predicting climate change via mesocosms

Carl Zimmer writes in The New York Times about a team of Australian scientists studying how climate change will alter ecosystems – by using miniature ecosystems, called mesocosms, designed to simulate the effects of climate change. The experiments are already revealing dangers that would have been missed had researchers…

Fixing the role of nitrogen in coral bleaching

Fixing the role of nitrogen in coral bleaching

Excess nitrogen has shown to disrupt coral-algae symbiosis, triggering bleaching even in the absence of heat and light stress. With coral bleaching events intensifying as global sea temperatures rise, this is an important finding in the race to understand the mechanisms behind bleaching and ways to reduce the devastating…

High school junior awarded for algae research

High school junior awarded for algae research

In Virginia, the McLean Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded Rose Rasty, a junior at George C. Marshall High School, the 2017 STEM Excellence Award at the AAUW Branch Annual Dinner, May 25. This year’s award recognized the work done by Ms. Rasty…

Dissecting an algal bloom

Dissecting an algal bloom

A new U.S. Geological Survey study that looked at the extensive harmful algal bloom that plagued Florida last year found far more types of cyanobacteria present than previously known. Twenty-eight species of cyanobacteria were identified in the extensive bloom, which occurred in the summer of 2016 in southern…

UC collaboration unlocks C. zofingiensis

UC collaboration unlocks C. zofingiensis

Scientists have learned in the past decade that the tiny, single-celled alga Chromochloris zofingiensis could be used as a source of sustainable biofuel and that it produces astaxanthin. In new research, plant biologists and biochemists from UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco have sequenced the green…

Analyzing a strange symbiosis

Analyzing a strange symbiosis

George Dvorsky writes in Gizmodo.com that, in a scientific first, researchers have discovered a bizarre inter-species relationship in which salamanders and algae cozy up together to share cells. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why these two very different organisms have adopted such an intimate arrangement…

NREL and high school team for algal space project

NREL and high school team for algal space project

Almost two years ago, on June 28, 2015, the rocket carrying experiments from Chatfield High School to the International Space Station disintegrated 139 seconds into its flight. That could have put an end to the collaboration between the students and researchers from the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy…

On the intrigue surrounding astaxanthin

On the intrigue surrounding astaxanthin

Jasenka Piljac Zegarac writes in nutritionaloutlook.com that the health-promoting properties of astaxanthin, the red, fat-soluble pigment found in freshwater microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis, continue to intrigue health-savvy consumers worldwide. According to a 2015 report from Research and Markets, the global market…

An algal predictor to ecosystem collapse

An algal predictor to ecosystem collapse

Gabriel Popkin writes in Science that a new study promises a way to predict — and possibly head off — catastrophic ecosystem failures and the collapse of species that support those ecosystems, with just one measurement. For years, scientists studying lakes and other ecosystems have predicted collapses before they happen…

Genetically engineered algae that can thrive outdoors

Genetically engineered algae that can thrive outdoors

Marlene Cimons, nexusmedianews.com reports that researchers at the University of California San Diego and Sapphire Energy have successfully grown a genetically engineered strain of algae outdoors for the first time. Importantly, the modified strain doesn’t hurt native algae populations. Their work appears in a new study…

Fast, low energy, and continuous biofuel extraction from microalgae

Fast, low energy, and continuous biofuel extraction from microalgae

PhysOrg reports that recent efforts have been made by researchers in Japan to reduce the cost of biodiesel production by using pulsed electric fields (PEF) to extract hydrocarbons from microalgae. A milli- or microsecond PEF is typically…

The effect of respiration on photosynthesis

The effect of respiration on photosynthesis

Scientists have long studied which of the three primary photosynthetic eukaryotes (red algae, green algae, and glaucophytes) came into existence first — to unravel the biological mystery of algae evolution by analyzing their genetic information. Despite learning that the structure of cyanelles, an organelle unique…

Increasing oil production from algae

Increasing oil production from algae

PhysOrg reports that the mechanism behind oil synthesis within microalgae cells has been revealed by a Japanese research team. This discovery could contribute to the development of biofuels. The findings were published on April 4 in Scientific Reports. The research was carried out by a group led by Professor Hasunuma…

Seaweed: from superfood to superconductor

Seaweed: from superfood to superconductor

Seaweed could turn out to be an essential ingredient in yet another trend: the development of more sustainable ways to power our devices. Researchers have made a seaweed-derived material to help boost the performance of superconductors, lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. The team presented their…

NRRI scientist links algae and climate change

NRRI scientist links algae and climate change

Brandon Michaels reports for KBJR6, in Duluth, MN, that a scientist with the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth has had a paper published that suggests a warming climate’s potential impact on the Great Lakes. Andy Bramburger and his team have probed core samples through a depth of the lakebed…

Lone Star students research algae for immune health

Lone Star students research algae for immune health

At Lone Star College-Montgomery, in Conroe, Texas, five professors and one student have been awarded grants from LSC-Montgomery’s newly formed Undergraduate Research Institute (URI). The primary goal of the URI is to empower students to take an active role in developing and defining their…

Resetting the circadian clock in algae

Resetting the circadian clock in algae

The human body clock runs on a 24-hour cycle, or circadian (from the Latin meaning “about a day”) rhythm. When our internal cycle gets out of sync with our surroundings, such as when crossing time zones, jetlag can result. The circadian rhythm therefore needs to be reset, which is achieved primarily…

Microalgae as a fish feed ingredient

Microalgae as a fish feed ingredient

PhysOrg reports that commercially produced microalgae could become a sustainable fish feed ingredient, a project from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, has shown. In the project, concepts have been developed to grow, harvest, dry and store two types of algae that are rich…

How green algae assemble their enzymes

How green algae assemble their enzymes

PhysOrg reports that researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, in Germany, have analyzed how green algae manufacture complex components of a hydrogen-producing enzyme. The enzyme, known as the hydrogenase, may be relevant for the biotechnological production of hydrogen. To date, little is known about…

Growing microalgae in agricultural liquid waste

Growing microalgae in agricultural liquid waste

Fis.com reports that, after three years of research, Embrapa Agroenergía, in Brasilia, Brazil, has identified microalgae species that can be grown in liquid waste from agroindustry processing, and that generate renewable raw material for biofuels, food and cosmetics, among other products…

1.6 Billion-year-old red algae fossils discovered

1.6 Billion-year-old red algae fossils discovered

Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History have found fossils of 1.6 billion-year-old probable red algae. The spectacular finds, publishing on March 14, 2017, in the open access journal PLOS Biology, indicate that advanced multicellular life evolved much earlier than previously thought…

Enzymes and algae alternatives to synthetic chemicals

Enzymes and algae alternatives to synthetic chemicals

Elaine Ramirez writes for asia.nikkei.com that, ever since four pregnant women died of mysterious lung problems in 2011, South Korea has been haunted by scandals over toxic chemicals in common household goods. The multiple deaths, together with serious lung damage suffered by hundreds of other victims…

Sandia purposefully crashing algae ponds

Sandia purposefully crashing algae ponds

For algal biofuels to compete with petroleum, farming algae has to become less expensive. Toward that goal, Sandia National Laboratories is testing strains of algae for resistance to a host of predators and diseases, and learning to detect when an algae pond is about to crash. An estimated 30 percent of current production…

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