Space alga “key to manned Mars mission”

Space alga “key to manned Mars mission”

Tom Fish writes in Express.co.UK that NASA scientists believe algae grown in spacecraft could be key to the success to long-term manned missions, such as planned trips to the Mars. US space agency NASA is moving toward more deep space missions. In particular, a mission to Mars could require at…

Algae the origin for plant’s drought alert system

Algae the origin for plant’s drought alert system

Plants’ water-to-land leap marks one of the most important milestones in the evolution of life on Earth. But how plants managed this transition when faced with unfamiliar challenges such as drought and bright light has been unclear. Now, a new study shows that the built-in alert system that enables land…

PNNL’s DISCOVR project invites collaboration

PNNL’s DISCOVR project invites collaboration

Wanted: Algae industry partners and academic researchers to help find the best algae strains for biofuels and bioproducts to reduce the cost of producing bioenergy from algae feedstocks. The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and its partners in this effort are offering private…

Extremophile algae may take genes from bacteria

Extremophile algae may take genes from bacteria

Algae found in thermal springs and other extreme environments have heated up a long-standing debate: Do eukaryotes — organisms with a cell nucleus — sometimes get an evolutionary boost in the form of genes transferred from bacteria? The genomes of some red algae, single-celled eukaryotes, suggest…

Chlorella’s wastewater cleaning ability confirmed

Chlorella’s wastewater cleaning ability confirmed

Environmental engineers at the University of Arkansas have discovered that Chlorella vulgaris, a single-celled fresh water algae species, effectively removes pollutants from wastewater even at fluctuating levels, making it an effective tool for wastewater treatment. The study, published recently…

Building a seaweed industry in New Zealand

Building a seaweed industry in New Zealand

Fuseworks Media reports that Sea lettuce (green seaweed) may hold the key to a new and valuable industry in New Zealand, thanks to a $13 million algal biotechnology research project funded by the Government and University of Waikato. Leading the research program is seaweed biologist…

Kampachi gets $3.3m for seaweed into food, feed, fuel

Kampachi gets $3.3m for seaweed into food, feed, fuel

Jason Huffman writes in UndercurrentNews.com that the Kampachi Company, a mariculture business focused on expanding the environmentally sound production of sashimi-grade marine fish in ocean-based cages, is planning to make a play in the seaweed space. The Kona…

NREL Study: Florida best growing region

NREL Study: Florida best growing region

A unique experiment that explored how well algae grows in specific regions of the United States yielded data that could prove useful as the industry moves forward, according to research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Arizona State University…

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

New biocontainment strategy controls spread of escaped GMOs

Science Daily reports that Hiroshima University (HU) researchers successfully developed a biocontainment strategy for genetically modified organisms. Their new method prevents genetically modified cyanobacteria from surviving outside of their test environment, enabling ways to more safely research…

Scientists find “switch” to increase starch accumulation in algae

Scientists find “switch” to increase starch accumulation in algae

Results from a collaborative study by Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tohoku University, Japan, raise prospects for large-scale production of algae-derived starch, a valuable bioresource for biofuels and other renewable materials. A “switch” controlling the level of starch content in algae has been discovered…

Growing algae with improved carbon dioxide utilization

Growing algae with improved carbon dioxide utilization

Ken Reardon, the Jud and Pat Harper Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Colorado State University, is leading a $2.1 million project that aims to increase algae yield by improving carbon dioxide utilization. The three-year project is part of an effort led by the…

PHYCO2, MSU advance algae production/carbon reduction program

PHYCO2, MSU advance algae production/carbon reduction program

PHYCO2 LLC has announced a new milestone in their three-year pilot program with Michigan State University, with the operation of its new, scalable algae production technology reactor, which will reduce the level of carbon emissions produced…

Sounds from algae helping coral reefs

Sounds from algae helping coral reefs

Phys.org reports that gas bubbles released by marine algae during photosynthesis produce sound whose intensity correlates with the degree of algal cover on coral reefs, according to a study published October 3 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Simon and Lauren Freeman…

Rutgers study: certain algae are resistant to climate change

Rutgers study: certain algae are resistant to climate change

A Rutgers University-led study has found that certain green algae are expected to better survive climate change compared to others due to genes they “stole” from bacteria. The Picochlorum single-celled species of green algae, which evolved to tolerate hostile and fluctuating…

Predicting algal blooms

Predicting algal blooms

Environmental Technology magazine notes that the difficulty in predicting how algae blooms will develop lies in their variform nature. With a multitude of different blooms affecting different parts of the coastline and interior bodies of water — from blue-green cyanobacteria to red dinoflagellates Karenia brevis…

Mark Hildebrand, leading algal biofuel scientist, passes away

Mark Hildebrand, leading algal biofuel scientist, passes away

Mark Hildebrand, a research molecular biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, died Aug. 9 after a battle with cancer lasting more than four years. He was 59. Dr. Hildebrand was a leader of the national research effort to develop fuels from algae and…

How will ocean acidification affect seaweed?

How will ocean acidification affect seaweed?

Researcher Celso Hernández writes in ScienceTrends.com that the rise in temperature in the oceans affects marine life and ecosystems, but it is accompanied by another problem caused by an increase of CO2: ocean acidification. Atmospheric CO2 dissolves and reacts with seawater, forming the chemical compounds that…

Enzyme could help accelerate algal biofuel production

Enzyme could help accelerate algal biofuel production

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have homed in on an enzyme belonging to the glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) family as a promising target for increasing biofuel production from the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Algae are known to store up large amounts of oils called triacylglycerols…

Polar marine diatoms clue scientists into changing climate

Polar marine diatoms clue scientists into changing climate

More than 40 researchers from around the world gathered in northwest Iowa last week to share their studies on single-celled algae organisms called polar marine diatoms. These organisms are the base of the food web in the polar regions and can reveal a lot about the Earth’s changing climate. The researchers spent the last…

Corals and algae go back to Jurassic Period

Corals and algae go back to Jurassic Period

Algae and corals have been leaning on each other since dinosaurs roamed the earth, much longer than had been previously thought, according to new research led by scientists at Oregon State University and Penn State. The findings, published in Current Biology, are a key advance toward a better understanding…

Find a new strain? NCMA wants to help.

Find a new strain? NCMA wants to help.

The National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) has put out the word that they are looking to expand their algal strain collection for the betterment of science. “We are looking for unialgal micro- or macroalgae isolated strains to add to our collection. If you have unique culture(s) or strain(s) new to science…

LANL algae researchers searching for affordable fuel

LANL algae researchers searching for affordable fuel

Andy Stiny writes for the Santa Fe New Mexican that molecular biologist Amanda Barry and a team of algae researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Bio-energy and Biome Sciences group are trying to determine whether one particular strain of algae can be produced at low cost and in short periods of time so that…

NMSU researchers mining energy from wastewater

NMSU researchers mining energy from wastewater

Tiffany Acosta writes for the (Las Cruces, NM) Sun-News that three years ago Catherine Brewer was asked to join a university collaboration on bioalgal energy. The assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University, who specializes in biomass processing, accepted the…

Algae strain uses raw plants as carbon energy source

Algae strain uses raw plants as carbon energy source

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions have provided the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source. The research shows that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides, is capable of directly degrading and…

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