In a significant leap forward that clears the lipid production hurdle, Trentacoste and her colleagues used a data set of genetic expression (called "transcriptomics" in laboratories) to target a specific enzyme inside a group of microscopic algae known as diatoms (Thalassiosira pseudonana). By metabolically engineering a "knock-down" of fat-reducing enzymes called lipases, the researchers were able to increase lipids without compromising growth. The genetically altered strains they developed, the researchers say, could be produced broadly in other species.
"These results demonstrate that targeted metabolic manipulations can be used to increase accumulation of fuel-relevant molecules.… with no negative effects on growth," said Trentacoste. "We have shown that engineering this pathway is a unique and practical approach for increasing lipid yields."
"Scientifically this is a huge achievement," said Mark Hildebrand, a marine biology professor at Scripps and a coauthor of the study. "Five years ago people said you would never be able to get more lipids without affecting growth negatively. This paper shows that there isn't an intrinsic barrier and gives us hope of more new things that we can try -- it opens the door to a lot more work to be done."
In addition to lowering the cost of biofuel production by increasing lipid content, the new method has led to advances in the speed of algal biofuel crop production due to the efficient screening process used in the new study.
"Maintaining high growth rates and high biomass accumulation is imperative for algal biofuel production on large economic scales," the authors note in the paper.
Five tips for wildlife viewing in Southwest Florida The News-Press Birding expert and FGCU professor Jerry Jackson says some of the best wildlife viewing is at places such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.
Marian Locksley's insight:
Magnify your eyes
The most simple way to bring images of wildlife closer to you is to use binoculars. Scientists and nature experts use them, and you should too if your goal is to see the fine plumage of a nesting yellow-crowned night heron.
The News Herald Florida wildlife officials seek to avoid flooding Everglades animals Sun-Sentinel Concerns about drowning Florida panthers, deer and other vulnerable Everglades animals prompted state wildlife officials Wednesday to call for new...
China's distant-water fishing fleet annually scoops up an estimated 3.1 million tons of fish off African coasts—80 percent of it unreported (#China's illegal fishing expeditions threaten world waters http://t.co/R6yZB4ZS7G...
These sharks live further north than any other shark species. They are closely related to the shark sleeping Pacific. This is one of the largest species of sharks, size, comparable to the Great White Shark.
TheBlaze.com This Isn't an Alien -- It's an Actual Venomous Deep-Sea Fish That's Rarely Seen TheBlaze.com ”Potentially, if we fish deeper, maybe between 1,000 and 2,000 metres, we could find that's there's actually quite a lot of them there.
Kiribati is made up of 310 square miles of land and 1.3 million square miles of ocean.
It is the Saudi Arabia of fish, except its leaders have allowed its only lucrative natural resource to be exploited by outsiders, including and especially the factory fleets of Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
Far below the surface, the waters of south-east Asia are heating up. A region of the Pacific is now warming at least 15 times faster than at any time in the last 10,000 years. If this finding – so far limited to the depths where the Pacific and Indian Oceans wash into each other – is true for the blue planet as a whole, then the questions of climate change take on a new urgency.
http://www.earth-touch.com What can we do to stop the destruction of our oceans & all of the amazing animals that call them home? In this HD video (in associ... (RT @EarthTouch: It's #WorldFisheriesDay!
Marian Locksley's insight:
What can we do to stop the destruction of our oceans & all of the amazing animals that call them home? In this HD video (in association with Selfridges, Greenpeace, ZSL, Marine Conservation Society, Pew Environment Group and ClientEarth), we bring you the shocking facts about the effects of overfishing on marine environments. We need to take action now to protect the diversity of our oceans and prevent them from turning into 'jellyfish soup'.
Cold temperatures may increase biomagnification (RT @Seasaver: #Arctic ecosystems most at risk from mercury #pollution http://t.co/JFEIhAAY0x via @KingstonHerald)...
Marian Locksley's insight:
New research from Queen’s University has shown that mercury biomagnification rates in aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic are higher than those in warmer climates.
Biomagnification is the process in all ecosystems which leads to increased concentration of substances like mercury in organisms at increasingly higher levels of the food chain (see chart below). However, this new study by researcher Raphael Lavoie demonstrates that colder temperatures increases the rate of biomagnification in Arctic food chains.
Sea Shepherd creates digital campaign that captures life 'protecting' the ocean MuMbrella The campaign features an 'online experience' called 'Get Behind the Defenders' and puts users on the sea as part of the Sea Shepherd crew, allowing them to...