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…

How eating seaweed can lower cow methane

How eating seaweed can lower cow methane

Judith Lewis Mernit writes in e360.yale.edu that an experiment being conducted by animal science professor Ermias Kebreab at the University of California, Davis, is testing 12 Holstein cows in an experiment to reduce methane emissions from livestock by supplementing their diets with a specific type of seaweed…

Study: astaxanthin protects skin from sun damage

Study: astaxanthin protects skin from sun damage

A new randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial provides stronger evidence for the protective role of algal-derived astaxanthin against skin deterioration caused by ultraviolet (UV) light. The new study, published June 25, 2018, in the journal Nutrients, was conducted at the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Research…

UF/IFAS researcher to experiment with algae in space

UF/IFAS researcher to experiment with algae in space

Brad Buck at Southeast AG NET Radio Network reports that a University of Florida scientist will use the International Space Station to see if algae can help recycle carbon dioxide and eventually be used to help make plastics, resins and even food. Initially, researchers want to improve algae’s ability to use light to capture…

A new type of photosynthesis is discovered

A new type of photosynthesis is discovered

Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite the textbooks. It will also tailor the way we hunt for alien life and provide insights into how we could engineer more efficient crops that take advantage…

New algae techno-economic analysis model from NREL

New algae techno-economic analysis model from NREL

At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), we have used techno-economic analysis (TEA) to build a model for the production of algal biomass in large open ponds. This model allows us to determine the economies of scale that can reduce cost as the size of cultivation facilities (basically microalgae…

New Zealand funds leading-edge macroalgal research

New Zealand funds leading-edge macroalgal research

The New Zealand Government and the University of Waikato are investing $13 million in a new research program in Tauranga aimed at helping tackle some of the biggest issues facing New Zealand’s primary sector. The project, part of the Entrepreneurial Universities program administered by the Tertiary Education…

Making a clean, green sunscreen

Making a clean, green sunscreen

Yousong Ding, Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Florida, writes in The Conversation that, in his laboratory in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida, they are interested in combing the world for naturally occurring chemicals that have applications in health, agriculture and environment…

A new DNA editing toolkit for the alga Nannochloropsis

A new DNA editing toolkit for the alga Nannochloropsis

Over the past decade, the science of engineering genes has become much more precise. That goes especially for CRISPR, a set of tools to delete or edit genes in an organism’s DNA. Scientists are using CRISPR to understand how plants and animals work. They are also exploiting it to create new applications…

Algae-based fertilizer turns vegetable farming green

Algae-based fertilizer turns vegetable farming green

European regulations and consumer needs have expanded the market for food products labelled green. However, affordable technological tools to produce vegetables sustainably are not readily available. To compound the challenge, European vegetable suppliers have neither the knowledge…

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