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Re: an algae experiment

On Fri, 15 Jun 2001, Larry Lampert wrote:

>  Along the lines of your hypothesis, I came across this interesting article
> on a genetically engineered algae. It looks like they are taking algae's
> natural ability for specialization and the ability to utilize simple sugars
> one step further through genetic manipulation.
> Scientists at a company in Columbia MD and Palo Alto CA have engineered a
> new micro algae that uses glucose as its primary energy source instead of
> sunlight. That's right this stuff grows in the dark! They accomplished it by
> splicing a human gene that directs the cellular flow of glucose into the DNA
> of an existing algae.

Gee.  I guess there's a lot of money in that field right now.  Now we have
genetically engineered algae that can get diabetes!

I've read about naturally occuring algae that lost the ability to
photosynthesize, and so are completely dependent on sugars they can get
out of their environment.  They're called "leucophytes"; they have all the
internal structures that normal algae have (chloroplasts, in particular)
but no chlorophyll or other pigments.

Roger Miller