Algae

  • 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.
  • It may look like a discarded piece of plumbing or a message in a bottle bobbing about aimlessly in the river, but Queensland University of Technology's humble "Drifter" hides some serious kit with a lifesaving mission for flood-prone regions.
  • Science
    Scientists have uncovered what they’re calling the oldest colors on Earth. Dating back more than a billion years, the bright pink pigments are the remains of some of the earliest microscopic organisms that once inhabited an ancient ocean, and their discovery helps fill a gap in the fossil record.
  • ​Space10 is Ikea’s research hub and innovation lab, devoted to developing bold and sustainable new business models. The latest project to come out of the lab is a selection of five iconic fast food dishes, reinterpreted with unconventional, yet healthy and sustainable, ingredients.
  • A University of Cambridge team has developed a new design for an algae-based fuel cell that is apparently five times more efficient than existing devices, and much cheaper to make and easier to use.
  • A coral reef resident may seem like an strange source to make biofuels practical, but the characteristic iridescent blue muscle tissues that the giant clam shows when it's open is giving researchers at the University of Pennsylvania clues on how to produce algae more efficiently.