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About Us

Mission Statement:

Bio-based Ideas is an open community of thinkers and dreamers that discuss biologically inspired ideas to address human needs. These could be any of the following categories:
  • Subjects ranging from Biology, Biomedical Research, to Biotechnology to innovative Technologies that affect humans.
  • Environmental/Biodiversity Aspects
  • Sustainable Economies
The motto here is: Enlightenment through education. The key is making these sometimes abstract concepts accessible the broader audience.

We are currently looking for passionate people who enjoy sharing and writing about about the topics mentioned above while also having an individual and unique background to diversify the view points and increase the activity of this blogging site.

Regular Contributors:

Anh-Huy (Anthony) Le is data scientist currently working at BASF Enzymes LLC. Previously, he worked as scientific software developer, and scientist at a Amyris, a renewable chemicals/synthetic biology company. In his free time, Anh-Huy enjoys sharing and discussing ideas on science and technology with his friends, collaborating with his colleagues on projects to bring the knowledge of bio-based related ideas in the wider audience, and practicing the ancient martial arts Tai Chi

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Focus on Algae - Part I: Bioremediation

After spending the last few blog posts on different aspects of dissimilatory bacteria, I want to switch the focus to a different class of organisms I have been interested in for a long time now. These are the algae. Algae comprise a large diversity of "sea weeds" and an even larger variety of single-celled organisms that mostly are capable of doing photosynthesis. They include the ordinary sea-weed, and make up a portion of the green slime found around the edges and the bottom of a pond. More exotic types of algae can live symbiotically - that is together with another organism in a mutually beneficial way. Lichens are an example of symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi. More information about the evolution and lineage of algae can be found in this wiki article.
Image via Wikipedia
Typically, these organisms are either not mentioned at all or only in conjunction with toxic algal blooms. But lately, algae, of course, have been in the news recently because of the promi…

Journal Club:”Direct Exchange of Electrons Within Aggregates of an Evolved Syntrophic Coculture of Anaerobic Bacteria” - OR: How Bacteria Hook up to Share Energy

Another curious observation made the science rounds the past week: wired, electric bacteria. Reading this article reminded me of a review article on dissimilatory bacteria I read before, and one of the most interesting talks I ever attended in my life titled "Eavesdropping on Bacterial Conversations".

What did they do?

Summers, who is Microbiologist working in the Lovley lab at the University of Massachusetts, was studying Fe(III) reducing bacteria in the soil. They wondered what would happen when Fe(III) reducing bacteria would deplete Fe(III) available in the soil. In order to study this question, the research group co-cultured two strains of geobacter bacteria: Geobacter metallireducens and Geobacter sulfurreducens. The research team thought that combining the former bacteria that can oxidize ethanol in order to obtain energy, but normally must pass obtained electrons onto Fe(III) which was not present in the solution, with the latter strain which cannot metabolize, but c…