The Science of Sustainability

Tag: algae

Tobacco Gets a Makeover as New Source for Biofuel

Tobacco Gets a Makeover as New Source for Biofuel

Is a new biofuel a win for renewable energy or the far-reaching arms of the tobacco industry?

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What Makes It So Easy To Be Green (in Nature)?

What Makes It So Easy To Be Green (in Nature)?

At a fundamental level, green objects look green because they reflect green wavelengths of light back to our eyes, while absorbing red and yellow. But organisms have evolved to be green for a wide variety of reasons.

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Algae…Soylent Green…and the Future of Biofuel

Algae…Soylent Green…and the Future of Biofuel

Can a renewable plant really replace crude oil? Find out how algae is becoming the fuel of the future — grown like a farm crop.

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Red Tide Rising: Harmful Phytoplankton Blooms

Red Tide Rising: Harmful Phytoplankton Blooms

About a month ago, thousands of abalone and other invertebrates washed up along the Sonoma coast, killed by what people thought was probably a red tide, a.k.a. a harmful algal bloom. An interdisciplinary team of researchers banded together to find out what was going on.

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Sea Foam Lathers Up the Ocean

Sea Foam Lathers Up the Ocean

Sometimes, the wind and the waves whip the ocean into a lather. And that word—lather—is a pretty accurate description of sea foam.

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Toxic Algae on the Loose

Toxic Algae on the Loose

California's commercial shellfish growers say there's something fishy going on.

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Toxic Algae on the Loose

Toxic Algae on the Loose

Another mysterious fish die-off happened in a Southern California harbor last week. Scientists are still trying to figure out what caused six tons of sardines to go belly-up in Ventura. Those sardines tested positive for a neurotoxin caused by algae blooms. Meanwhile, commercial shellfish growers say they're noticing some strange patterns as well, as Amy Standen reports.

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Producer's Notes: Algae Power

Producer's Notes: Algae Power

Before becoming the CEO of Aurora Biofuels, Bob Walsh worked at the oil company Shell for 25 years. Here’s an excerpt of QUEST’s March, 2009, interview with Walsh, most of which didn't make it into the TV segment.

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QUEST Quiz: Algae

QUEST Quiz: Algae

Which algae are most efficient at producing oil? What other uses have algae been given throughout history? Take the QUEST Quiz to find out.

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Algae Power

Algae Power

In a co-production with NOVA scienceNow, QUEST explores the potential of algae—once considered nothing more than pond scum—to become the fuel of the future. Entrepreneurs from the Bay Area to LA are working to create the next generation of biofuels from algae. But will you ever be able to run your car off it?

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Reporter's Notes: Designer Biofuels

Reporter's Notes: Designer Biofuels

Concern over global warming and rising gas prices has just about everyone, including presidential candidates, touting biofuels. Taking the energy from plants to make a gasoline alternative that can run our cars has great promise. But there are challenges to meeting the nation’s goal to replace 20 per cent of the nations annual gasoline consumption […]

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