UV protective algae could be used as a sustainable alternative to sunscreen, research at Swansea University has discovered.
There are hopes microalgae, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, could replace synthetic sunscreens.
The natural products, found in the sea, have a high absorbance of damaging sun rays.
Dr Carole Llewellyn, who has led the research, said algae sunscreen would be better for the environment.
“What we found is that algae have their own process of protecting themselves against the damaging ultra-violet rays,” said Dr Llewellyn, an associate professor in applied aquatic bioscience.
“We’re really interested in finding out how they do this and applying it to products we want to use.
“There’s increasing evidence that some of the synthetic sunscreens are quite harmful to the environment when they wash off in the sea.
“Many sunscreens are produced from petroleum sources and the industry is looking for something more sustainable.”
The Abstract submission and registration deadline are now extended to the 23rd of June 2017 for the 7th UK Algae Conference in Swansea
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor John G Day (SAMS) – cryopreservation of micro and macro, challenges and future trends
Professor Juliet Brodie (Natural History Museum) – a historical perspective of projects run by the Natural History museum including taxonomy, monitoring kelps for harvesting purposes, citizen science, macroalgae microbiome
Dr Claire Gachon (SAMS) – diseases in macroalgae
Joe MacDonald from Varicon Aqua (http://www.variconaqua.com/) – “Challenges and opportunities for PBR technology suppliers in the algae bio-economy”
Dr Robert Lovitt from Membranology Ltd. (http://membranology.com/)
Dr. John Dodd from AlgaeCytes Ltd. “- AlgaeCytes -A view on the algal product commercialization path”
Reception class learned about the three states of matter in St David’s Catholic Primary School West Cross Swansea.
Dr Claudio Fuentes Grunewald gave a scientific talk to encourage an interest in science for kids in the reception class in St David’s Catholic Primary School West Cross Swansea.
Reuters innovation news article on using algal sunscreens as an alternative to synthetic sunblock, sometimes blamed for adverse effects on human skin. Featuring Dr Carole Llewellyn and Dr Alla Silkina.
We aim to link PhD students and Post-docs who research all types of algae. From micro to macroalgae there will be key note speakers, flash talks and poster presentations on a variety of topics within algal research as well as a tour of the facilities, networking, conference dinner and more.
Swansea University invites you to attend the 7th UK Algae Conference:“The best of both worlds- combining ideas from micro-and macro algae research” on the 6th and 7th of July, sponsored by Phyconet.
The event is open to all algae community members: associations, SMEs, stakeholders, academics, post-graduate students.
in Journal of Applied Phycology the paper with the title:
Bioremediation efficacy—comparison of nutrient removal from an anaerobic digest waste-based medium by an algal consortium before and after cryopreservation
An algal consortium was isolated from an integrated steelmaking site at TATA Steel Strip Products Ltd. in Port Talbot, UK, and its bioremediation capacity tested. Excellent “bioremediation” was observed when the mixed culture was “applied” to diluted effluent from an enhanced anaerobic digestion plant at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water at Port Talbot, UK. After 5 days of cultivation in a 600-L photobioreactor, 99% of the total nitrogen (initial level, 4500 μmol L−1) and total phosphorus (initial level, 690.4 μmol L−1) were removed from the waste stream. The consortium was deposited in the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa (CCAP), an international depository authority for microalgal patents, as CCAP 293/1. This material has been successfully cryopreserved using a two-step cryopreservation protocol with dimethyl sulphoxide (5% v/v) used as a cryoprotectant. On recovery of samples after 3 months storage at −196 °C, the specific bioremediation activity of the revived consortium was tested. The capacity of the revived culture to bioremediate effluent was not significantly different (p < 0.05) from a non-cryopreserved control, with 99% of total nitrogen and phosphorus remediated by day 4. Although non-axenic algal cultures have previously been cryopreserved, this is the first report of the successful cryopreservation of mixed algal consortium, with validation of its ability to bioremediate after thawing comparing non-cryopreserved cultures with a revived post-thaw algal consortium. The study also highlights the need to ensure the long-term security and the requirement to validate the functionality of conserved inocula with biotechnological/bioremediation potential.