The mutually beneficial relationship between algae and modern corals — which provides algae with shelter, gives coral reefs their colors and supplies both organisms with nutrients — began more than 210 million years ago, according to a new study by an international team of scientists including researchers from Princeton University. (more…)
Tag Archives: algae
ANN ARBOR — Lake Erie has become increasingly susceptible to large blooms of toxin-producing cyanobacteria since 2002, potentially complicating efforts to rein in the problem in the wake of this year’s Toledo drinking water crisis, according to a new study led by University of Michigan researchers. (more…)
Arctic excursion explores how sea life copes with continuous winter darkness
When the North Pole tilts away from the sun during the winter, the Arctic region plunges into weeks of continuous darkness. The sun never peeks above the horizon, casting only a twinge of blue twilight at midday, and the moon dimly illuminates the landscape at night if conditions are clear.
People living in this “polar night” have adapted to the darkness using artificial light, but how ocean inhabitants cope remains to be seen. (more…)
Study Offers First Look at Green Sea Turtle Habitat Use in the Dry Tortugas
DRY TORTUGAS, Fla. – Nesting green sea turtles are benefiting from marine protected areas by using habitats found within their boundaries, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study that is the first to track the federally protected turtles in Dry Tortugas National Park.
Green turtles are listed as endangered in Florida and threatened throughout the rest of their range, and the habits of green sea turtles after their forays to nest on beaches in the Southeast U.S. have long remained a mystery. Until now, it was not clear whether the turtles made use of existing protected areas, and few details were available as to whether they were suited for supporting the green sea turtle’s survival. (more…)
Berkeley Lab and SLAC Researchers Demonstrate Room Temperature Simultaneous Diffraction/Spectroscopy of Metalloenzymes
From providing living cells with energy, to nitrogen fixation, to the splitting of water molecules, the catalytic activities of metalloenzymes – proteins that contain a metal ion – are vital to life on Earth. A better understanding of the chemistry behind these catalytic activities could pave the way for exciting new technologies, most prominently artificial photosynthesis systems that would provide clean, green and renewable energy. Now, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have taken a major step towards achieving this goal.
Using ultrafast, intensely bright pulses of X-rays from SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, the researchers were able to simultaneously image at room temperature the atomic and electronic structures of photosystem II, a metalloenzyme critical to photosynthesis. (more…)
Brazil’s soybean yields have become competitive with those of the United States and Argentina, but the soil demands a lot of phosphorous, which is not renewable. In the United States, meanwhile, historical applications of the fertilizer have polluted waterways. What accounts for these problems? It’s the soils, according to a new study comparing agriculture in the three countries.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Just 20 years ago, the soils of the Amazon basin were thought unsuitable for large-scale agriculture, but then industrial agriculture — and the ability to fertilize on a massive scale — came to the Amazon. What were once the poorest soils in the world now produce crops at a rate that rivals that of global breadbaskets. Soils no longer seem to be the driver — or the limiter — of agricultural productivity. But a new Brown University-led study of three soybean growing regions, including Brazil, finds that soils have taken on a new role: mediating the environmental consequences of modern farming. (more…)
A changing climate has implications on biodiversity without any doubt. Species in the past have been sensitive to changes in the climate; that has been proved time and again by the fossilized remains and pollen distribution studies. It has been seen or can be concluded safely that climate changes have led to extinction of species in one area and colonization in another.
It is improbable that all species can or will be able to adapt to changing conditions specially the sudden changes. This leads to impact in ecosystem dynamics and also on community composition. (more…)
UA biofuel expert Joel Cuello explains how future innovations could help realize algal biofuels’ full potential.
Scaling up the production of biofuels made from algae to meet at least 5 percent – about 10 billion gallons – of U.S. transportation fuel needs would place unsustainable demands on energy, water and nutrients, says a new report from the National Research Council, or NRC. However, these concerns are not a definitive barrier for future production, and innovations that would require research and development could help realize algal biofuels’ full potential.
“Algal biofuels are not quite ready for prime time,” said NRC committee member Joel Cuello, a professor in the UA department of agricultural and biosystems engineering who co-authored the report. “In other words, if scaled up today, the resources that have to go into production would not be sustainable. However, in our report we say that this not a show stopper, because there are technology combinations that can be designed and developed to make the production process more environmentally sustainable.” (more…)