Long ago, a clan of hardy microbes called cyanobacteria helped terraform the lifeless Earth into a vibrant biosphere. Today, the very same critters could be the key to colonizing Mars.
In the twentieth century, oil was black gold. But as we march deeper into the twenty-first century, we could have a lucrative new fuel on our hands. One that’s blue-green and sometimes a little smelly. It’s found in wastewater, but it’s capable of powering jets. It’s algae.
If humans are going to keep living in the style to which we're accustomed, we need to find alternatives for fossil fuels. Partly that's because we need to reduce pollution — and partly because those fossil fuels are going to run out. But alternative forms of energy may look a lot weirder than you think.
It appears that brown is the new green. The Denver Zoo has decided to make use of all that primo animal poop that comes out of its residents and convert it into fuel. Now you can tour the zoo (and enjoy a frozen margarita) with the aid of this poo-power.
Pandas have all kinds of talents, like looking adorable, dozing off for no reason, and looking tiny next to Shaq.
Proving that everything in Nevada is able to withstand stupefying levels of heat, a newly-discovered microbe from the state is not only able to survive temperatures above boiling, but is also one of the only microbes who can digest cellulose at high temperatures.
With water shortages looming in the future, we need new ways to clean water that's been fouled by human waste, agricultural runoff and industry. A new article published in BioScience (free PDF link) shows that we can use naturally-occurring algae as a filter. The plants would not only make the water suitable for…
Biofuels are made from carbohydrates and fats in corn and other feedstock. This is a wasteful process because it leaves behind all the protein, a far more abundant substance. As a result, one of the big questions for alternative energy researchers is how we can pull biofuel from protein. Especially because proteins…
Thanks to a $274,000 grant from the Federal Railroad Administration, Amtrak will soon run its Heartland Flyer rail line on beef byproduct biodiesel for a 12-month trial period. Obviously, the Heartland Flyer needs a new, titter-worthy name.
Restaurants across the United States are reporting that thieves are stealing their used cooking oil, turning it into black-market biodiesel made in garage distilleries. In many cities where biodiesel fuel is popular, restaurants can earn up to $1.25 per gallon of the used stuff. Oil pirates, however, are rarely…