News

Stress tested: how algae change their internal solar panels to stay alive

The natural solar panels constantly grow and shrink in size to adjust to changes in their hosts' environments. Scientists want to tap into this energy source for biofuels and food purposes.

How detecting light in the water affects how much food cyanobacteria get

Scientists have linked how water-dwelling bacteria monitor light wavelengths in their surroundings with their capacity to do photosynthesis. The research has medical/biofuels implications.

How to build artificial nanofactories to power our futures: Logistics

A peek into the logistics of how bacterial nanofactories move electrons, towards creating chemical products. Future apps include renewable energy and medical tools.

Taking the brakes off plant production: not so good after all

When engineers want to speed up a system, they look for the slowest steps and make them faster. In plants, this approach potentially does more harm than good, says the Kramer lab.

Identifying a new family of light-responsive proteins

The new family of proteins protects cyanobacteria from sunlight damage, and they are interesting for use in synthetic medical or renewable energy applications.

Turning the evolutionary clock back on a light-sensitive protein

Scientists show how the two OCP parts interact and also create new synthetic versions of that protein. The goal is to use it in synthetic healthcare systems, powered by light.

Perspectives on building nanofactories for energy and medical uses

Scientists are learning how bacterial nanofactories are constructed in nature. Recent experiments show we could engineer their building blocks into new structures, for useful applications.

Introducing PhotosynQ to Scientists in West Africa [LINK]

A blog post by Dan TerAvest on a workshop with researchers from across West Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with support from the McKnight Foundation.

Protecting plants from the power of sunlight

Plants, like us, don’t like too much sunlight. The Kramer lab has figured a way to better measure how plants respond to excessive exposure, and the information might help us create more resilient plants.

A new chloroplast 'app' for making biofuels

In addition to doing photosynthesis, the chloroplast is the source of up to 10% of seed oil production in plants. Scientists are experimenting with harvesting that oil to make biofuels.

The ref and the fighter: two sides of plant defense

The Howe lab delves into how defense genes do more than just fight. They also tangle with growth functions.

[VIDEO] Our first ever look at bacterial organelle shells

In a new Science publication, The Kerfeld lab show us the details of bacterial organelle shells for the first time ever, making it easier to target them for medical or renewable energy applications. 

How to build an artificial nano-factory to power our futures

The Kerfeld lab has analyzed over 200 sets of cyanobacteria DNA. This knowledge is getting us closer to understanding how to build synthetic factories that will someday produce green fuels or products used to diagnose diseases.

Growing pains and how that might affect seed quality

The Brandizzi lab is showing how extreme heat negatively impacts seed quality in plants targeted for producing biofuels.

Unpacking a new bacterial mini-factory

The new compartment, widely spread among different kinds of bacteria, might be reassembled to someday sustainably produce “green” chemicals, medicines, and renewable energy.

From the lab to the world: solving big problems in agriculture and energy

Introducing MultispeQ, an affordable and sophisticated scientific instrument that measures plant health and photosynthetic parameters.

Investing in cell wall growth for improved photosynthesis

Changes in leaf cell wall make-up can dramatically affect how large or thick leaves grow. This knowledge may help improve how crops intercept light and exchange gas with the atmosphere.

Managing photosynthesis' traffic jams

The Ducat lab has coaxed a lab-grown cyanobacteria to efficiently make and export sugar, a technique which could someday lead to greater biofuel production at lower cost.

The dangers of overcharging your plants

Capturing light to produce energy is a dangerous business for plants. The Kramer lab has discovered one important reason why, in their search for ways to improve crop yields.

Kramer lab's CoralspeQ featured in Nature magazine

The technology is featured alongside various new tools that are transforming marine science, as researchers rush to understand how coral reefs are affected by overfishing, pollution, global warming and ocean acidification.