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…

Seaweeds and human evolution

Seaweeds and human evolution

Birgitte Svennevig writes in Phys.org about, millions of years ago, early Homo sapiens branching out from the primitive hominoid family tree – possibly a crucial turn in human evolution – partly driven by seaweed and its particular content of essential nutrients. Our ancestors needed lots of energy-rich foods just…

Understanding oil production in Nannochloropsis

Understanding oil production in Nannochloropsis

Phys.org reports on research at Tokyo Institute of Technology that has identified unique lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferases as being the central enzymes for triacylglycerol synthesis by the oleaginous alga Nannochloropsis, uncovering mechanisms of biofuel production in microalgae…

On dinoflagellate algae’s symbiosis with corals

On dinoflagellate algae’s symbiosis with corals

Dinoflagellates are among the most prolific organisms on the planet, forming the basis of the oceanic food chain, and their close symbiotic relationships with corals help maintain healthy reefs. However, because dinoflagellates have unusually large genomes, very few species have been sequenced…

Algal extract repairs human cells

Algal extract repairs human cells

Wesley Tin reports for medicalnewsbulletin.com that many human diseases, such as diabetes, chronic inflammation, and various cancers, are linked to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their harmful effects on the human body. ROS are naturally occurring and are essential in cell signaling and homeostasis…

Diatoms indicating the future

Diatoms indicating the future

Peter Rüegg writes for Phys.org that, during their rapid growth cycle, diatoms absorb huge amounts of trace elements and nutrients from the surface water layer, especially silicon to form their shells, and zinc, which plays a vital physiological role in their development. The heavy depletion of nutrients caused by the…

MSU–PHYCO2 research moves to phase 4

MSU–PHYCO2 research moves to phase 4

Michigan State University and California-based PHYCO2, a company that focuses on algae growth and CO2 sequestration, are now using wastewater from breweries to produce algae as part of their ongoing partnership to generate clean energy sources. The production employs PHYCO2’s carbon dioxide-capturing technology…

Study: red seaweed slows cancer growth

Study: red seaweed slows cancer growth

Mae Chan writes in RiseEarth.com about a recent study in Malaysia that found Kappaphycus alvarezii red seaweed helps in slowing down the growth rate of mammary tumors – which researchers say displays the alga’s potential as a natural aid in cancer treatment. K. alvarezii is an algae species cultivated…

Algae survive outside Space Station

Algae survive outside Space Station

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft reports in Science Daily that two algae species survived 16 months on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) despite extreme temperature fluctuations and the vacuum of space – as well as considerable UV and cosmic radiation. That was the astonishing result of an experiment…

IAEA develops tools to fight algal toxins

IAEA develops tools to fight algal toxins

Scientists at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are working with researchers in Cuba to detect and measure biotoxins in ocean organisms and develop monitoring and reference tools that will help identify such outbreaks worldwide. “With a better understanding of how harmful algal blooms behave…

Algal UVA/UVB filtering compounds for better sunscreens

Algal UVA/UVB filtering compounds for better sunscreens

David Bradley writes in spectroscopynow.com that ultraviolet screening agents — derived from algal natural products that protect the marine microbes from the sun — can boost the sun protection factor of skin creams used by sunbathers by a factor of more than two, according to Spanish researchers…

New algae medium: Tris-Acetate-Phosphate-Pluronic

New algae medium: Tris-Acetate-Phosphate-Pluronic

Bendy Estime, a biomedical and chemical engineering Ph.D. candidate at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York, has developed a new technology for energy efficient cultivation and harvesting of microalgae. Mr. Estime’s research has been published as a peer-reviewed article in Scientific Reports on Jan. 19…

Can algae treat Cystic Fibrosis?

Can algae treat Cystic Fibrosis?

Benjamin Schachtman writes for PortCityDaily.com in Wilmington, Delaware, that the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNC), along with the Marine Biology in North Carolina Center (MARBIONC) were recently named as part of the $250 million National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals…

New species highlight biodiversity hotspot

New species highlight biodiversity hotspot

Algae have long been identified and classified by their physical appearance, such as their color and branching. However, reliance on the form and structure of these organisms has made it challenging to determine diversity and map distribution. Molecular technologies have changed that. As scientists use DNA analysis…

Species diversity in algal biofuel systems

Species diversity in algal biofuel systems

When growing algae in outdoor ponds as a next-generation biofuel, a naturally diverse mix of species will help reduce the chance of crop failure, according to a federally funded study by University of Michigan researchers. U-M ecologist Bradley Cardinale and his colleagues found that growing multiple algal species…

High-performance bioplastics from seaweed

High-performance bioplastics from seaweed

Park Se-young, at Arirang News, writes about a Korean research team at Ewha Womans University, in Seoul, South Korea that has developed the technology to manufacture eco-friendly, high performance, bioplastics using seaweed. This technique is the first of its kind to use lipids from algae, according to the scientists…

Warning of toxic algae blooms before they develop

Warning of toxic algae blooms before they develop

The Fish Site reports on a new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, demonstrating that automated monitoring systems that identify “regime shifts” – such as rapid growth of algae and then depletion of oxygen in the water – can successfully predict full-scale algae blooms…

Tracking changes at the base of the food chain

Tracking changes at the base of the food chain

Danielle Kaeding reports for Wisconsin Public Radio that a warming climate is transforming the base of the food chain in the Great Lakes, according to a new study published recently in the scientific journal Limnology and Oceanography. Researchers say rising lake temperatures could spell changes for the rest…

ARPA-E’s MARINER project seeks macroalgae productivity

ARPA-E’s MARINER project seeks macroalgae productivity

The United States has the world’s largest marine Exclusive Economic Zone, an area of ocean along the nation’s coastlines which is equivalent to the total land area of all 50 states. The nation has the potential to utilize this resource to build and grow a thriving marine biomass industry for the production of fuels, chemicals…

Maine students study toxic algae genetics

Maine students study toxic algae genetics

An unprecedented harmful algal bloom off the coast of New England this fall provided a unique opportunity for Waterville, Maine-based Colby College students studying at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, in East Boothbay, Maine. Each fall, Bigelow scientists host a group of undergraduate students for a…

NREL Scientist Maria Ghirardi Named AAAS Fellow

NREL Scientist Maria Ghirardi Named AAAS Fellow

Maria Ghirardi, a scientist at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS cited Dr. Ghirardi for “distinguished contributions to our understanding of photobiological hydrogen production…

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