Vast quantities of medicines and renewable fuels could be produced by algae using a new gene-editing technique, a study suggests.
Scientists have devised a method that could lead to cheap, environmentally friendly ways of making products for use in the cosmetics, plastics and food industries.
Algae are highly prized for their ability to make useful products, but a lack of engineering tools has hindered basic research and growth of the industry for decades, researchers say.
Edinburgh scientists sought to improve the efficiency of gene-editing to increase yields of products currently made using algae, including some food supplements.
The advance could also enable algae to make new products, such as medicines.
The technique uses molecules that act like scissors to cut DNA – called CRISPR molecules – which allow researchers to add new genes or modify existing ones. Until now, scientists have struggled to develop a technique that works efficiently in algae.
To overcome this, the team added CRISPR molecular scissors and short pieces of DNA directly to algae cells to make precise modifications to the genetic code.
Their new method is more specific and increases efficiency 500-fold compared to previous techniques.
The discovery could unleash the potential of the global algae industry, projected to be worth $1.1billion by 2024.
The team developed its technique to work in a widely used species of algae – called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The method could potentially also be used to engineer crops to increase yields, improve disease resistance or enable plants to thrive in harsh climates.
The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Scottish Bioenergy.
Our findings mark a key advance in large-scale algal genome engineering. Our technique is applicable to a wide range of species, and could pave the way for the development of designer algae, which has many biotechnology applications.
The Latest on: Designer algae
- Food 3D Printing Market Size Outlook 2026; An Incredibly Research That Works For Allon January 30, 2020 at 4:25 am
The 3D food printing process is introducing 3D digital design on any food item in the real world. It can bring huge environmental benefits as the process converts algae or beet leaf proteins into ...
- The Watershed-based Approach to Address Non-point Source Nutrientson January 29, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Algae can take many different forms and inhabit many different ecosystems ... habitat or recreation enhancement projects can all be registered for nutrient credits. The most effective site selection ...
- WATCH: Berlin designers develop natural dyes based on algaeon January 25, 2020 at 9:43 pm
They source the algae from wholesalers and reduce their raw material to a powder before mixing it with water. Essie Glomb and Rasa Weber met during their studies in Berlin and formed the Blond&Bieber ...
- At Davos, innovative products point to a sustainable futureon January 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm
1 / 2 Sustainability comes in many forms at Davos, from seaweed dyes to 3D printing. (AN photo/Tarek Ali Ahmad) 2 / 2 Sustainability comes in many forms at Davos, from seaweed dyes to 3D printing. (AN ...
- Hypergiant Is Using AI And Algae To Take on Climate Changeon January 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm
Hypergiant, an AI products and solutions company, is harnessing this unique power of algae in its latest technology, the EOS bio-reactor which uses AI to optimize algae growth and carbon sequestration ...
- Experts Explain How Toxin-Free Lawns Can Be Greener, Both Literally And Ecologicallyon January 23, 2020 at 7:21 am
Nitrogen and phosphorous fuel such algae blooms, which appear to have gotten only worse ... and Tony Piazza of Piazza Horticultural, a landscape and garden design firm in Southampton, presented “A ...
- Patagonia’s guide book is created with the world’s first algae offset ink!on January 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm
In an attempt to stay true to Patagonia’s eco-friendly philosophy, Cast Iron Design collaborated with Living Ink, procuring a black pigment from them to print the guide with. However, this is no ...
- LPU & IISER students develop algae-based Air Purifieron January 22, 2020 at 8:55 am
Algae has been used as microbes in algae conduct photosynthesis ... and Tourism, Architecture and Design, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Agriculture, Fashion Design, Journalism, Films and Creative Arts, Law ...
- The algae 'biocurtain' cleaning city airon January 15, 2020 at 6:45 am
Environment The algae 'biocurtain' cleaning city air Posted A London design and architecture studio is harnessing the power of algae in "biocurtains" which remove carbon dioxide from the ...
- Boulder city guide by Cast Iron Design made with ink derived from algaeon January 6, 2020 at 5:07 pm
Cast Iron Design has created a guide book for the city of Boulder, Colorado on recycled paper with ink made from algae. Living Ink transforms the solid biomass, which is produced in California by ...
via Google News and Bing News