Tag Archive: algae


Fremen from Arrakis, and the movie Dune, in their stillsuits

Fremen from Arrakis, shown in the movie Dune, wearing their stillsuits

Recently my mind has turned to the problem of excessive humidity – not because I’m suffering from it currently, but because I was curious as to how an algae-based CO2 scrubber could be used without having to live in a near 100% humidity environment!  This was, apparently, one of the issues with the algae biocoil in the Biosub project.  In the end, I blew through a tube and got dizzy – here’s why.

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Pyrocycstis lunula algae viewed under a USB microscope

Pyrocycstis lunula algae viewed under a USB microscope

Ok, I need you to squint a little at the photograph above – look for a vaguely crescent-moon shaped outline, with a yellowy-whiteish blob in the middle.  Found one?  That’s a Pyrocycstis Lunula alga!  They’re about 0.1mm to 0.14mm in length, and they’re one of the bioluminescent algae strains that I’ve been culturing.

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How excited am I allowed to be about this, without getting sectioned?  Ah, who cares.  The video above shows the operation of a computer controlled bioreactor and integrated vending machine for spirulina – a form of blue-green algae and all round science celebrity!

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Marin Sawa's Algaerium photograph

Marin Sawa's Algaerium

I love this photograph – it’s Guan Lee’s shot of Marin Sawa’s Algaerium interior design project (seen over at Inhabitat).  I love the muted earthy tones with both a watery organic feeling, and brittle clean science fiction vibe.

It doesn’t hurt that algae are such a strange and wonderful kingdom of living curiousness.  Not animal, and in a different (but distantly related) biological category to plants – algae is different enough to be all on its own.

Then add in the fact some kinds can be eaten, some are fertilizer, some can be used as  biofuel, some efficiently scrub CO2 into oxygen for us to breathe (potentially in space) and some even glow.  Glow!

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