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Discussions Discussion Health & Environment
Wendy Bachman, Feb. 13, 2012

Dramatic changes to sea algae could herald devastation for human life:

Huge changes in the make-up of North Sea and North Atlantic Ocean algae in the space of five years could have harmful knock-on effects for human health and the rest of the food chain, research from Welsh scientists has revealed.

The changes seen in algal blooms – shifting from dinoflagellate to diatom algaes – could mean a build-up of toxins on feeder organisms.

Professor Graeme Hays, from Swansea’s Department of Biosciences in the College of Science, and an author in the study, said: “Imagine looking at your garden one morning and finding that the grass had suddenly been replaced by bushes. This may sound far-fetched, but we have found changes of this magnitude in the biology of the North Atlantic, with a dramatic switch in the prevalence of dinoflagellates to diatoms – two groups which include many of the microscopic planktonic plants forming the base of the ocean’s food chain.”


Wendy Bachman

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Bert Breton, March 4, 2011

Algae Converted to Butanol; Fuel Can Be Used In Automobiles:

A team of chemical engineers at the University of Arkansas has developed a method for converting common algae into butanol, a renewable fuel that can be used in existing combustible engines. The green technology benefits from and adds greater value to a process being used now to clean and oxygenate U.S. waterways by removing excess nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizer in runoff.
“We can make cars go,” said Jamie Hestekin, assistant professor and leader of the project. “Our conversion process is efficient and inexpensive.

Bert Breton

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