Monthly Archives: December 2012

Algal biofuels? Think bigger

fucus Stemonitis wikipedia

The production of biodiesel from single-celled microalgae has been receiving renewed research attention, as evidenced by a growth spurt in publications on microalgal biofuel this year. Meanwhile, Scottish researchers working on the Biomara project argue that coastal temperate regions should make fuel from macroalgae (seaweed) instead. In a recent article published in Biotechnology for Biofuels,… Read more »


Ocean Acidification: Approaches to Mitigation and Adaptation

Global oceans provide numerous and varied resources which humans, and other organisms rely on. However, with the growing threat of increasing carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere disrupting the chemical balance of the ocean, these resources are now in danger of being destroyed. This could be both ecologically and economically devastating. The importance of research… Read more »


How manipulative is a queen bee?

Eusociality describes a system in which many animals (mostly insects) live, whereby some individuals forego the opportunity to reproduce in order undertake various tasks of benefit to the group, such as helping to raise and care for other (generally related) offspring. From an evolutionary perspective, this represents an interesting paradigm; by investing in related young,… Read more »


How do you water a plant in zero gravity?

Scientists shoot plants into space in an attempt to unearth the mysteries of root growth Gel. Gel is the answer. By growing experimental plants on plates filled with nutrient gel instead of pots of soil, researchers have been able to capture on camera the growth of roots in space, without having to worry about watering… Read more »


The eloquent mongoose and the structure of language

Readers of this blog will, by virtue of being able to read it at all, be familiar with the complex construction of language: sentences can be broken down into words, which can themselves be broken down into syllables or uninterrupted sounds. Many, but perhaps not all, will also be familiar with the concept of “phonemes”,… Read more »


Call for Nominations: Retrovirology Prize 2013

The nomination period is now open for the 2013 M. Jeang Retrovirology Prize. Nominations will be accepted from December 1st, 2012 to January 15th, 2013. The winner of the 2013 Retrovirology Prize will be announced and presented at the 2013 Frontiers in Retrovirology conference to be held September 16-18th at Cambridge University in the UK… Read more »