Algae

  • Hypergiant Industries has announced an algae-fueled bioreactor that can soak up as much carbon from the atmosphere as an acre of trees.
  • Throughout the densely-populated country of Bangladesh, a lack of access to clean drinking water is responsible for a variety of debilitating and often-lethal infections. Soon, however, residents could filter virtually all harmful microbes out of their water, using paper derived from algae.
  • ​Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are mostly man-made compounds found in substances such as pesticides, food additives and personal care products. Unfortunately, they're also linked to some serious health issues. It appears that algae, however, could be used for removing them from wastewater.
  • Microorganisms keep turning up in Earth’s most extreme environments. To test whether certain hardy microbes can survive the harsh conditions of space or Mars, colonies were placed on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) for almost 18 months – and many managed to survive.
  • Science
    In the world of palaeontology, new discoveries usually proclaim things are older than we previously thought. But new research out of the Max Planck Institute has found that animals probably arose later than is currently believed.
  • Science
    ​When algal blooms occur in lakes, the over-abundant cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) produce a toxin known as microcystin. Now, Ohio-based scientists are using OTHER types of bacteria to neutralize that toxin, in a process that could be cheaper and more eco-friendly than the alternatives.
  • Science
    About 700 million years ago, basically the entire planet iced over in a period often called “Snowball Earth.” Now researchers have found fossil fats that help fill in the story of how life bounced back after this global cataclysm, and how we humans might owe our very existence to them.
  • ​Plastic waste is a major problem in the world's oceans, which is why some groups have developed bioplastics that break down in the sea. Even those aren't entirely eco-friendly, though, which is why Israeli scientists are working on one that's derived from marine microorganisms.
  • ​Toxic algae blooms can be nasty, killing fish, other wildlife and sometimes even people. One of the main causes of such blooms is excessive amounts of fertilizer running off of fields and into waterways. A new type of buried sensor, however, could help address that situation.
  • Science
    Freshwater and marine algal blooms can be harmful – even fatal – to wildlife and humans alike, so the sooner that authorities can predict them, the better. A cheap and portable new device developed at UCLA could help them do so.
  • Algae found in a candy-pink Spanish lagoon is giving scientists hope that life could or may once have existed on Mars. Dunaliella salina EP-1, from the Laguna de Peña Hueca in La Mancha, lives in high salt and sulfur concentrations similar to those found at the buried lake at the Martian ice cap.
  • ​Even though tilapia may be raised on farms, the food that they eat still contains ecologically-important fish that are caught in the ocean, depleting wild stocks. That's why Dartmouth College scientists are now looking at replacing the fishmeal in that food with existing algae meal.