When times get tough, algae can steal energy from other plants

Scientists know that worms, bacteria, and various fungi can eat plants and use the vegetable cellulose as a source of carbon for their growth. Plants, on the other hand, simply sit back and photosynthesize carbon dioxide, water, and light. But now, as German researchers have discovered, algae don't always need to draw … » 11/21/12 6:20am 11/21/12 6:20am

Opera singer grows algae on her face by feeding it with her breath and …

No, what you're looking at is not some kind of lost prop from an old Alien movie. Rather, it's part of an After Agri performance that was showcased at the recently concluded Digital Design Weekend at the V&A. During the art-piece, the head-mounted, face-clinging device was worn by an opera singer who used her breath to … » 9/27/12 7:30am 9/27/12 7:30am

Bacteria-laced algae are invading freshwater streams across the globe

In the small, freshwater streams of South Dakota, a horrible menace is creeping along the rockbeds. Known as rock snot, it's a form of algae that clings to rocks and spreads rapidly until it takes over the entire ecosystem of the stream, often killing off local plants and microbes. The stuff has spread from North… » 6/07/11 5:00pm 6/07/11 5:00pm

Why a simple bed of algae could save us from water pollution and fuel…

With water shortages looming in the future, we need new ways to clean water that's been fouled by human waste, agricultural runoff and industry. A new article published in BioScience (free PDF link) shows that we can use naturally-occurring algae as a filter. The plants would not only make the water suitable for… » 6/02/11 9:44am 6/02/11 9:44am

Biotech Is The New Nanotech

Not only could we use algae as a new fuel source soon, but we also might use it to create better nanotechnology. Diatoms, tiny phytoplanktons, come encased in a unique cell wall made out of silica, which has pores and channels that increase its surface area dramatically. Using the existing complexity of these natural… » 2/07/08 6:30am 2/07/08 6:30am