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Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

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Ocean microbes display a hidden talent: releasing countless tiny lipid-filled sacs

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In the search for a renewable energy source, systems using algae look like a good bet. Algae can grow quickly and in high concentrations in areas unsuitable for agriculture; and as they grow, they accumulate large quantities of lipids, carbon-containing molecules that can be extracted and converted into biodiesel and other energy-rich fuels. However, after three decades of work, commercially viable production of biofuels from algae hasn’t been achieved, in part because the processes needed to break apart the algae and recover the lipids are costly and energy-intensive.

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