Funded by a $30,000 Rochester Institute of Technology grant, David Blersch, a University at Buffalo environmental engineer, and his students built a system that pumps water from Lake Erie ashore down two, 40-foot-long flumes. The water is recycled into the lake but it leaves behind microscopic cells that form miniature algae blooms. Blersch vacuums the algae and bottles samples to study. He is creating a database that will help scientists, government, industry and others gauge the algae’s potential uses.

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