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Tweaking algae’s biological clock boosts production of biofuels, chemicals, drugs [Registered]

Tricking algae’s biological clock to remain in its daytime setting can dramatically boost the amount of valuable compounds that these simple marine plants can produce when they are grown in constant light. That is the conclusion of a “proof of concept” experiment described in the Dec. 2 issue of the journal Current Biology. The study found that when the biological clocks of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were stopped in their daylight setting, the amount of several biomolecules that they were genetically altered to produce increased by as much as 700% when grown in constant light. “We have shown that manipulating cyanobacteria’s…

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