How Did Red Algae Survive in Extreme Environments?

Red algae have persisted in hot springs and surrounding rocks for about 1 billion years. Now, a Rutgers-led team will investigate why these single-celled extremists have thrived in harsh environments – research that could benefit environmental cleanups and the production of biofuels and other products.

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How to Get a Handle on Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Plants

How much carbon dioxide, a pivotal greenhouse gas behind global warming, is absorbed by plants on land? It’s a deceptively complicated question, so a Rutgers-led group of scientists recommends combining two cutting-edge tools to help answer the crucial climate change-related question.

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Converting solar energy to hydrogen fuel, with help from photosynthesis

Recently, scientists have achieved record efficiency for solar-to-fuel conversion, and now they want to incorporate the machinery of photosynthesis to push it further. They present their results today at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.

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Light a Critical Factor in Limiting Carbon Uptake, Even in the North

A new Columbia Engineering study demonstrates that even when temperatures warm and cold stress is limited, light is still a major factor in limiting carbon uptake of northern high latitudes. The team analyzed satellite observations, field measurements, and model simulations and showed that there is a prevalent radiation limitation on carbon uptake in northern ecosystems, especially in autumn.

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Untangling a key step in photosynthetic oxygen production

Researchers zeroed in on a key step in photosynthesis in which a water molecule moves in to bridge manganese and calcium atoms in the catalytic complex that splits water to produce breathable oxygen. What they learned brings them one step closer to obtaining a complete picture of this natural process, which could inform the next generation of artificial photosynthetic systems that produce clean and renewable energy from sunlight and water. Their results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences today.

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Algae in the Oceans Often Steal Genes from Bacteria

Algae in the oceans often steal genes from bacteria to gain beneficial attributes, such as the ability to tolerate stressful environments or break down carbohydrates for food, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.
The study of 23 species of brown and golden-brown algae, published in the journal Science Advances, shows for the first time that gene acquisition had a significant impact on the evolution of a massive and ancient group of algae and protists (mostly one-celled organisms including protozoa) that help form the base of oceanic food webs.

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Precipitation Will Be Essential for Plants to Counteract Global Warming

A new Columbia Engineering study shows that increased water stress—higher frequency of drought due to higher temperatures, is going to constrain the phenological cycle: in effect, by shutting down photosynthesis, it will generate a lower carbon uptake at the end of the season, thus contributing to increased global warming.

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