A team of researchers led by University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Professor Joe Chappell is making a connection between prehistoric times and the present — ancient algae that can produce their own biofuel — that could result in genetically creating a replacement for oil and coal shale deposits. Their discovery could have fundamental implications for the future of Earth’s energy supplies.
Botryococcus braunii, Race B, is an ancient, colony-forming green alga that has attracted interest because it accumulates large amounts of high-value, petrochemical replacement oils. The oil oozing from the algal colony is evident in this picture. (Credit: Photograph courtesy of Taylor Weiss, Andreas Holzenburg, Stanislav Vitha and Timothy P. Devarenne at Texas A&M University
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