Tag: diatoms

Ana Feeds Our World, Part 2

Ana knows that tiny single-celled organisms have extraordinary properties. Her favorite, algae, is the mother of all land plants. Terrestrial plants, with roots, evolved from algae about 500 million years ago. Algae comes in all shapes and sizes from tiny to macro. Some algae species group and form…

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Swedish Algae Factory scales up for solar cells

Swedish Algae Factory, a start-up supported by EIT InnoEnergy, has received close to EUR 1.7 million from the EU LIFE programme. The grant will be used to scale up the material extraction from algae that can increase the efficiency of solar cells. The company’s innovation increases the efficiency of solar panels by using…

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New algae strain for desert farming

Biologists from Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates have engineered a new form of microalgae that can grow rapidly in desert conditions, a discovery they claim could be used to sustainably produce biofuels, animal feed and other bio-based products in otherwise barren environments. The researchers set out…

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Diatoms indicating the future

Peter Rüegg writes for Phys.org that, during their rapid growth cycle, diatoms absorb huge amounts of trace elements and nutrients from the surface water layer, especially silicon to form their shells, and zinc, which plays a vital physiological role in their development. The heavy depletion of nutrients caused by the…

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Algae helping forensic teams catch criminals

Kirstie R Scott, of University College London Centre for the Forensic Sciences and the Environmental Change Research Centre writes in com about how algae are being used to solve crimes and track down criminals. Microscopic algae, particularly diatoms, can be picked up from virtually anywhere there is water — seas, lakes…

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Researching the enormous strength of diatoms

Lori Dajose writes in PhysOrg that researchers in the lab of Julia Greer, professor of materials science and mechanics in Caltech’s Division of Engineering and Applied Science, have recently found that diatoms have the highest specific strength — the strength at which a structure breaks with respect to its density…

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GE algae kills cancer cells, saves healthy ones

Hannah Osborne writes in the International Business Times that algae has been genetically engineered to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The algae nanoparticles, created by scientists in Australia, were found to kill 90% of cancer cells in cultured human cells. The algae were also successful at killing cancer…

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Marine bacteria boost growth of diatoms

University of Washington oceanographers have found that diatoms — the intricately patterned single-celled algae that exist throughout the world’s oceans — grow faster in the presence of bacteria that release a growth hormone known to benefit land plants. The study, published online May 27 in Nature, uses genetic and…

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New methods for genetically engineering diatoms

Scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization in La Jolla, California, have published a paper outlining new synthetic biology methods to manipulate diatoms. The paper titled, “Designer diatom episomes delivered by conjugation,” was published April 21st in Nature Communications…

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