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Spot the algae. NASA

Visualising algae-eating viruses from space

Algae isn’t just found in your garden pond or local river. Sometimes it explodes into vast “blooms” far out to sea, that can be the size of a small country. Such algal blooms can match even a rainforest…

Insomniac algae more productive

Algae can produce up to 700% more compounds when tricked to stay awake, according to new research conducted by Vanderbilt…
These blue-green algae - cyanobacteria - would be the only winners from a warming ocean. Joydeep

If warming oceans leave algae hungry, we’ll go hungry too

Global warming is having a significant impact on marine life, as many marine organisms are adapted to live only within the average temperature range of their habitats. This applies to larger fish and sea…
Show me the green: Tetraselmis suecica algae viewed under a confocal microscope. Emily Roberts/Swansea University

The next ‘black gold’ could be green

Leave a glass with nutrient-rich pond water on a sunny window sill and within a day or two it will have turned a very vibrant, verdant green. This apparent alchemy has less to do with chemistry and more…
Algal genes are introduced into tobacco cells that grow into plants. Peggy Lemaux/UC Berkeley

Tobacco re-imagined as a future fuel source

Tobacco doesn’t immediately conjure up ideas of fuel for cars and planes. But that’s precisely what a three-year, $4.8m project from the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E PETRO (Plants Engineered to Replace…
Algae synthesisers – a new crop for biofuels, without the need for land. Kirsten Heimann

Explainer: what are algal biofuels?

The problem we face with fossil fuels being ultimately a finite resource has exposed our need for renewable fuels. But research is underway on new and more environmentally-savvy ways to fuel our growing…

Plant-eating algae a hope for biofuel

Algae can get energy from other plants, researchers from Bielefeld University have found. Conventional wisdom held that plants…
An image taken last Friday shows a massive algal bloom, thought to have been caused when wind blowing snow off the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctic released nutrients into the ocean. NASA Terra Modis/Jan Lieser

Bright green algal bloom is so vast it can be seen from space

A field of green algae stretching hundreds of kilometres across the ocean surface near Antarctica is so bright that it is…

Bubbles build better biofuels

Thanks to microbubble technology, harvesting algae for use as a biofuel could become easier and more affordable. The technique…

Fill ‘er up, with microalgae

Microalgae are an interesting alternative to other biofuel crops such as corn or soy. Microalgae are individual cells or…
Future fuels will be made from a range of raw materials, including algae. SandiaLabs

Explainer: the evolution of biofuels

It’s one of the key challenges of our generation: transforming our global energy use from emissions-intensive, non-renewable fossil fuels to low-carbon, sustainable energy technologies. The challenge for…

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