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Algae could generate hydrogen for fuel cells

November 14, 2007
An image of Chlamydomonas used in the study. (Surzycki, et al. (c) 2007 PNAS)

European researchers have demonstrated a new method for hydrogen production by algae.

In a recent issue of PNAS, the team presented a method using copper to block oxygen generation in the cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that could lead to a consistent cycle of hydrogen production.

Algae molecular transporter could advance biofuels, pharmaceuticals

Molecular transporter breaks algae cell-wall barrier
August 22, 2012

Proof that it works. In the left microscopy image, obtained during a control experiment, a green fluorescent tracer called fluorescein is not delivered inside algae cells when the tracer is only mixed with the molecular transporter. In the right image, fluorescein is successfully delivered inside algae cells when it’s covalently linked to the molecular transporter. (Image courtesy of Parvin lab)

Scientists have developed a way to send molecules and proteins across the cell wall of algae, a feat that opens the door for a new way to study and manipulate these tiny organisms.

In recent years, algae have become a hot prospect as a way to synthesize biofuels, chemical building blocks, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and other useful compounds.

The idea is to engineer algae to secrete fuel for… read more

Algae to solve the Pentagon’s jet fuel problem

February 15, 2010

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says it is just months away from producing a jet fuel from algae for the same cost as its fossil-fuel equivalent, part of a broader mission for the US military to obtain half of its fuel from renewable energy sources by 2016.

DARPA’S research projects have already extracted oil from algae ponds at a cost of $2 per gallon. It is now… read more

Algae-Based Fuels Set to Bloom

February 5, 2007

Raw algae can be processed to make biocrude, the renewable equivalent of petroleum, and refined to make gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemical feedstocks for plastics and drugs. Indeed, it can be processed at existing oil refineries to make just about anything that can be made from crude oil.

New genomic and proteomic technologies make it much easier to understand the mechanisms involved in algae-oil production.

Algae: Biofuel of the future?

August 19, 2008

University of Virginia researchers have a plan to greatly increase algae oil yields by feeding the algae extra carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas) and organic material like sewage, meaning the algae could simultaneously produce biofuel and clean up environmental problems.

Algorithm identifies top ten technology news trend setters

July 5, 2012


Berlin Institute of Technology researchers studied the problem of trend-setting among news sites to determine which websites lead the news coverage and which ones merely follow, Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.

They took a snapshot of the words generated by 96 technology news websites at any instant in time and compared them to the words generated by one of these websites at an earlier time.

This allowed them… read more

Algorithmic stock trading rapidly replacing humans

September 9, 2011

Algorithmic trading (high frequency trading) is rapidly replacing human decision making, according to a UK government panel, which warned that the right regulations need to be introduced to protect stock markets.

Algorithms identify and track the most important privately-held technology companies

April 14, 2011

Quid Map

A startup called Quid has developed algorithms that analyze Internet-based data from corporations to make fast-moving technology developments visible, navigable, and understandable.

Quid has built a data set combining information about firms that succeeded and sank, patent documents, government grants, help wanted advertisements, and tweets. Its algorithms use the collection of information to analyze the prospects of around 35,000 firms and research groups working on new technologies.… read more

Alice Chatbot Wins for Third Time

September 20, 2004

Richard Wallace’s Alice chatbot program beat three other finalists to take the 2004 bronze metal for the Loebner Prize competition.

The bronze metal goes to the program best able to maintain a life-like conversation. No program has won gold or silver metals, which will go to programs able to convince half the judges that the program is a human, either via video (gold) or text (silver).… read more

Alien Animal Planet

February 6, 2006

Computer models created by NASA and SETI Project researchers have helped identify which stars among the universe’s 70 sextillion are most likely to support life.

They used two scenarios formulated by the SETI Project: a planet orbiting a sun close enough to keep water from freezing out, yet far enough away to avoid evaporation and a moon orbiting a gas giant and warmed by twin suns.

Then life… read more

Alien astronomers could discern Earth’s features

December 26, 2007

Aliens spying on us from another star system might be able to discern continents and oceans on our planet by plotting the fluctuation in brightness as sunlight falls on different surface features such as forests, deserts and seas.

‘Alien code’ leads to faster vaccines

June 5, 2006

Four years ago, Eckard Wimmer scared the world by making the polio virus from scratch. This prompted fears that terrorists would copy his methods to create deadly viruses of their own. Now his team at Stony Brook University in New York are using the same method to create weakened viruses that could speed up the development of new vaccines.

Alien Contact More Likely by ‘Mail’ Than Radio, Study Says

September 2, 2004

A new study suggests it is more energy-efficient to communicate across interstellar space by sending physical material than beams of electromagnetic radiation.

Beams of radiation are cone-shaped and grow in size as they travel outward, meaning the great majority of their energy is wasted.

A far more energy-efficient — although slower — way of communicating over great interstellar distances is to send a physical object, which can hold… read more

Alien hunters ‘should look for artificial intelligence’

August 23, 2010


The odds favor detecting alien AI rather than biological life because the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence would be short, says SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak.
He also says that artificially intelligent alien life would be likely to migrate to places where both matter and energy — the only things he says would be of interest to the machines — would be in plentiful supply.… read more

‘Alien’ message tests human decoders

January 9, 2002

A message that will be broadcast into space later in 2002 has been released to scientists worldwide, to test that it can be decoded easily. The researchers who devised the message eventually hope to design a system that could automatically decode an alien reply.

The new binary message can be downloaded from the CETI home page. The project leaders hope that it will be transmitted by… read more

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