Algae as microscopic biorefineries

Some raw materials are limited and not available and extractable everywhere in the world—as we are becoming acutely aware of right now by the example of fossil fuels and rising energy prices. Renewable raw material sources ...

How to get chloride ions into the cell

Many bacteria and unicellular algae have light-driven pumps in their cell membranes: proteins that change shape when exposed to photons such that they can transport charged atoms in or out of the cell. Thanks to these pumps, ...

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 ...

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