Macroalgal Culture

June 26, 2008

Robert I and have been discussing the issues around macroalgal culture.  He found this cool like to a patent for a cultivation truss:

I would like to know if anyone knows about species selection or condtion optimization for this type of aquaculture.  The best contact I know of for this is Greg Mitchell, at Scripps Oceanography in SD, but I dont want to bother him with basic reserach questions.

The reason that this came up was becuase Robert and I were discussing open ocean algal biofuel cultivation strategy.  Ecological issues seem to detract from the feasibilty of microalgal culture, and larger species seem to be more containable.

Any comments?


Hello Blogosphere

June 23, 2008

Hey all you sustanible biotechers,

Because we all share the urge to make this world a cleaner, more energy-efficent place for our future generations to enjoy,  voice your ideas and challenge the thoughts of others regarding how to gain ground against (hopefully reversible) impending global sickness.

I believe that sustainability issues are not addressed at KGI as they should, and this forum will gather the ideas of all interested parties so we can express this issue for all to see.  Having a class in this issue would bring new business practices to light, and teach future leaders of biotech how to manage in a sustainable manner.  

News Source:

I will function to consolidate news I feel is interesting to the group and would like others’ input.  This is kind of like a think-tank idea. 

Thanks to Cyrus for setting all of this up!




Sorry I dissappeared for a while. First there was the end of the semester with finals and all of the projects we do at KGI coming due. Then I started my summer internship. I ended up working at Genentech down in Oceanside, CA (Northern San Diego County). Now you might be asking yourself, “What the heck is Cyrus doing working at a pharma biotech company?!” Well, in looking around for internships, I realized that a lot of the opportunities in the small biofuel type startups were lab related (for the scientists). I have always considered myself an engineer and my primary interest is in large scale manufacturing. Not just what bugs to grow or the theory of fermentation or bioseperations but how do you actually run a large plant? What are the systems needed and how are every day operations managed? So when I saw an opportunity to work in the state of the art manufacturing plant of the original biotech company, I jumped at the chance. I am doing a project in data management and automation of the plant which means I get a good overview of all the systems running in the plant. In fact I can see the status in real time of all 18,000+ sensors, valves, pumps, etc in the plant and also see what they have done since the place opened. So one thing I will have a good grasp on is how you put one of these $700 million dollar plants together and that is something that all those biofuel startups will need to know when the time comes to build their plants. Besides, Genentech is a pretty cool company. It’s probably one of the only traditional medicinal biotech companies I would consider working for long term. Plus, you get tons of free food!
Stay tuned for updates. In mid August, I will be attending the annual meeting of the Society for Industrial Microbiology wich is going to have all sorts of cool workshops and talks on metabolic engineering, biofuels, and even bionanotechnology systems. There is even a couple of talks on CHO cell culture by KGI’s very own Matt Croughan. I plan on providing full coverage of cool stuff I run across there.