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Algae: The miracle plant

Tom Jackson • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Recently, I got interested in the potential of algae as a source of fuel and wrote an article on the subject. If you missed it, you can read it here.

When I wrote that article, I forgot to point out that the chief scientist quoted in it, Richard Sayre of The Ohio State University, has found other uses for algae that benefit Lake Erie.

According to an article in the most recent issue of Twineline, the magazine put out by Ohio Sea Grant, "For nearly 15 years, Sayre has been using Chlamydomonas reinhardii -- a unicellular algae found all over the world -- to do many unlikely things for Sea Grant, including separate heavy metals from Lake Erie sediment, vaccinate Lake Erie fish, and mass produce a bioterrorism antidote."

The article by Daniella Nordin describes how another OSU prof, Linda Weavers, has built on Sayre's work by figuring out how to use algae and ultrasound to remove mercury from lake sediment. The issue of the magazine is available for download here; you can also sign up for an electronic subscription or even give them money for a paper subscription.

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