Monday, November 26, 2012

Vampire Algae, even if they are not vampires do something amazing




Algae
photo by Jenny Audring

My first period students start the week in the computer lab.  This week I had them checking out a DNA tutorial which got higher than average marks (DNA from the beginning).   Once they are rolling I sit back and wait for questions and occasionally throw one out to the masses.  I pull out my gadget and check my science list on Twitter.  "Vampire Algae" caught my eye.

As the students were putting the laptops away I prepared to tell them about the vampires.  And then all my classes got to hear about the vampires.  Not because they were vampires but because they are predators that can digest what we fail at, and we are animals with teeth and digestive juices and symbiotic enzymes.  Stressed out algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, (low levels of CO2) suck cellulose from other plants and use it for energy.  How cool is that!  And how cool to think of other amazing things plants can do that we cannot do that are waiting to be discovered.  Of course the article turns to how we can use these algae to help fuel our vehicles.

This was a fine thing to stumble upon a day after celebrating my botany professor.  

1 comment:

  1. I think it would be so fun to be in your class! Too bad I'm so old!!! :)

    ReplyDelete

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