Biofuels’ Saviour: Genetically Modified Algae

In 2019, I began my quest on how to create more efficient biofuels; I came across a research paper that made my dreams possible.

A large-scale algae farm (Source: Symbiosis In Development)
(if you know nothing about CRISPR, don’t worry! I made this 5-minute video on the basics.)

CRISPR + algae = a whole lotta LIPIDS!

This is the genome for nannochloropsis gaditana. It was hundreds of thousands of base pairs long, and needless to say I was overwhelmed.
Using the nuclear localiztion sequence as a guide, I was able to make a rough estimate of where the ZnCys gene was located and identified my target DNA.
The PAM is quite a few base pairs downstream of the target DNA, but this is the first instance where the Cas9 protein would be able to identify the cleave site.
The gRNA encompasses the entirety of the target DNA just until the PAM.

So, once and for all… how do you knock out algae genes?

A big step for biofuels

I spoke about the potential that genetically modified algae biofuels could have at the December 2019 IBM Townhall.

i’m a 16-year-old writer trying to make next-gen knowledge accessible & digestible to the 99%

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