Biofuel From Gm Macro Algae Case Study

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3.4 Case Studies
3.4.1 Biofuel from GM Macro algae

Hydrocarbon biofuels are produced by genetically modified seaweed which are obtained by inserting genes from high hydrocarbon producing micro algae into high growth seaweed species. Botryococcus braunii (BB) a green micro algae that produces large amounts of aliphatic hydrocarbon molecules is used as a source for genetic material. The genes that produce hydrocarbon in BB are identified, removed, cloned and subsequently inserted into high growth brown seaweeds like Kelp. The genetically modified kelp can be grown in coastal ocean waters. After the growth is complete it can be harvested and further processed .The hydrocarbons produced are then extracted and catalytically converted into useful
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Scientists at University of California genetically engineered microalgae species to obtain these species as source of hydrogen. Green algae absorb more chloroplast while GM algae with less chlorophyll in the chloroplasts will allow light to pass through. The difference in the sunlight absorbance of both algae is depicted in Figure 5. Thus the genetically engineered algae when cultivated in large areas can use sunlight more efficiently as it will allow sunlight to pass to deeper layers of algae as well. Algae which uses sunlight more efficiently are observed to produce hydrogen three times than the green algae. Genetical modification in algae to decrease absorption of sunlight is done by manipulating the genes which control the amount of chlorophyll in the chloroplasts. (Patel …show more content…
Chemotherapy the only way to treat cancer being non-target specific has lot of side effects. This is because during chemotherapy normal living tissue is also damaged along with the tumour cells. Greatest challenge is to find a drug delivery system that only kills cancer cells. Researchers had developed nanoparticles based cancer drugs loaded on silica particles, but this was not cost intensive. Diatoms are micron sized algal species with silica coated cell walls. Scientists then developed GM Diatoms (green) so that the silica shells of algae can be coated with antibodies (blue) , tiny dead cells are loaded with nanoparticle drugs (yellow ); algae act as carrier for these drug particle and due to the presence of antibodies it binds only to the cancer cells thus leaving normal tissues unharmed. This process of cancer drug delivery is shown in the Figure 9. It was observed that in the lab scale experiments of this type of drug delivery using GM Diatoms about 90% of the tumour cells were destroyed. No damage to the normal cells was observed. Thus scientists consider these GM algal species as target specific and safe measure for killing cancerous cells.(Elder 2015; Dean

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