From powering airplanes to replacing nuclear energy, algae has been touted as a green energy miracle. So if our waterways are already filled with the stuff, why isn’t it filling the world’s skies with biofueled planes? Algae is a tricky creature that presents a lot of challenges and misconceptions. Here’s why it’s…
This summer, we learned that a warm blob of ocean water across the Eastern Pacific was feeding a massive algal bloom all the way up and down the West Coast from Alaska to California. At the time, officials voiced concerns about domoic acid, a potentially lethal neurotoxin secreted by one of the dominant bloom species.
Traveling abroad is inherently thrilling — but then there’s that interminable, soul-sucking trek to get there. In the future, things might be very different.
In 1964, the last time Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics, the nation revealed one of the biggest mic drops in transportation history: the debut of the shinkansen, the world-famous bullet train that became a Japanese icon. The first high-speed train in the world, it spurred similar technology to spread to Europe and…
Long ago, a clan of hardy microbes called cyanobacteria helped terraform the lifeless Earth into a vibrant biosphere. Today, the very same critters could be the key to colonizing Mars.
In the ongoing search for a non-nuclear energy, Fukushima could find a partial answer in living, green, microalgae. And algae can help the rest of the world, too.
The summer of 2015 will probably be remembered as one of fire, drought, and hot, hot weather. But it’s also been a summer of frightfully voracious, microscopic life forms. From Lake Erie to the North Atlantic, tiny green algae are multiplying like crazy. And there’s no better way to appreciate the sheer immensity of…
It’s the last thing you want to find floating on your backyard pool, but a Mississippi-based company called Bloom has developed a way to turn algae, that green slimy goo that makes it unpleasant to swim in a lake, into eco-friendly foam for use in yoga mats, sandals, or luggage.
The Blob has been there for over a year—a cauldron of extra-warm ocean temperatures off the coast of the Pacific Northwest that just won’t budge. The Blob has already affected food availability and habitats for marine life, and now scientists are starting to see at least one dangerous side-effect of the Blob: A…
The algal bloom in Lake Erie is particularly bad this year, thanks to a combination of agricultural runoff, sunlight, and warm water. The result, as seen by NASA’s Landsat 8, is the Great Lakes turning slowly green.
In the twentieth century, oil was black gold. But as we march deeper into the twenty-first century, we could have a lucrative new fuel on our hands. One that’s blue-green and sometimes a little smelly. It’s found in wastewater, but it’s capable of powering jets. It’s algae.
Every summer, the population of algae in the North Atlantic reaches a peak, with the blue-green color of the phytoplankton causing the ocean to visibly change, even from space.
A highway overpass is the last place most of us would think to install a farm. But algae, that wonderful little ecological miracle, is different. Since it consumes sunlight and CO2 and spits out oxygen, places with high emissions are actually the perfect growing area. Which is why this overpass in Switzerland has its…
Let's take rooftop farming to a whole new level—a microscopic level. Unveiled at Expo Milan this week, the Urban Algae Canopy is a living, breathing alternative to our inert roofs and facades. Could algae be the next hip trend in urban agriculture?
Be excited, Earthlings, because science has a surprise for you. Engineers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have devised a way to turn algae into crude oil in less than an hour. That oil can then be refined into gasoline that can run engines.
Bioluminescence is awesome. Essentially the production of light by a living organism, e.g. fireflies, certain types of jellyfish, etc—but it doesn't just occur in animals. There's even some plant life that has the potential to give off that lovely, ethereal glow. And as Mark Rober shows us in the video above, you can…
Watch out graphene; something's coming to eat your supermaterial lunch. Nanocellulose is poised to be the kevlar-strength, super-light, greenhouse gas-eating nanomaterial of the future. And the best part? It's made by nothing but algae.
In what is becoming an increasingly polluted world, Chlorella, a portable, pod-shaped, air-purifying pavilion prototype (yes, all those p-words were in fact necessary), offers an oasis of fresh air in a zen-like and environmentally-friendly setting.
Photographed from above it looks like a pool of melty Strawberry ice cream, but Lake Retba, which runs blood-red through Senegal, West Africa, gets its unusual color from an unusually high salt content—in some up to 40-percent!