Unexpected discovery: Blue-green algae produce oil

Cyanobacteria—colloquially called blue-green algae—can produce oil from water and carbon dioxide with the help of light. This is shown by a recent study by the University of Bonn. The result is unexpected: Until now, ...

Something old, something new in the ocean's blue

Charles Darwin suspected something in the "clear blue water" of the ocean that was even smaller than the protozoa he could see under the microscope. "Today we know that every liter of ocean water is swarming with hundreds ...

Parasite manipulates algal metabolism for its own benefit

Microalgae can form massive assemblages in oceans, attracting many opportunistic organisms; these are capable of eliminating the entire algal population within a short time. However, the underlying mechanisms of this watery ...

Hippos, the animal silicon pumps

The excrement of hippos plays an important role in the ecosystem of African lakes and rivers. Because there are fewer and fewer hippos, this ecosystem is in danger. In the long term, this could lead to food shortages at Lake ...

Okinawan sea grapes reveal secrets of plant evolution

If you've ever dined on the tropical island of Okinawa, Japan, your plate may have been graced by a remarkable pile of seaweed, each strand adorned with tiny green bubbles. Known as umi-budo or sea grapes, the salty snack ...

Catchy names for exotic algae

Unicellular algae, to which the so-called dinophytes belong, are important primary producers in marine and freshwater habitats and, as such, they provide a vital source of food for other organisms. They also serve as indicator ...

The odor of stones

Diatoms are unicellular algae that are native in many waters. They are a major component of marine phytoplankton and the food base for a large variety of marine organisms. In addition, they produce about one fifth of the ...

Short circuit in the food web

They are amongst the most numerous inhabitants of the sea: tiny haptophytes of the type Emiliania huxleyi. Not visible to the naked eye, when they are in bloom in spring, they form square kilometer sized patches, they are ...

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