To you, it might be green pond scum. But to some researchers, algae is a vehicle for making key pharmaceutical and industrial compounds. A recent patent could give one company a virtual corner on the biotech algae market. The patent, issued to Martek Biosciences of Columbia, Md., outlines a process to grow non-algal genes in algal cells. The process takes place in a few hours, in contrast to the months it takes to introduce genes into transgenic crop plants like corn or tobacco. The process could also help model the large-scale production of chemicals in crops in fast-growing algae. Martek is working on algal production methods for docosahexaenoic acid, a baby formula ingredient that aids mental development.
Toronto wants to kill the smart city forever
The city wants to get right what Sidewalk Labs got so wrong.
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.
Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI
One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.
The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images
Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.