Featured project: Can we save Collserola National Park?

Jai Ranganathan

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/31035791]

Today’s featured #SciFund Challenge project is Can we save Collserola National Park? by Jorge Mederos.

Collserola Park
Collserola Park: on the edge of Barcelona, Spain.

This project is awesome, not least because it’s my voice on the video! But there is a lot more to like about this project. The project is based in Collserola Park, which is on the edge of Barcelona, Spain. Collserola is the biggest urban park in the world and, at 85 square kilometers, it is 22 times larger than New York City’s famed Central Park. Collserola is an oasis of nature in a highly urban landscape, containing well over a thousand plants species and hundreds of vertebrate species. 

Featured project: Domesticating algae for the 21st century

Jai Ranganathan


Today’s featured #SciFund Challenge project is Domesticating Algae for the 21st Century by Steve Herbert.

Pond scum
Pond scum: the planet's last hope?

Let me be honest: I love this project. Steve, a professor of plant sciences at the University of Wyoming, wants to better grow algae in a vat. Sounds boring, right? Think again.

The world’s human population just topped 7 billion people.   How are we going to produce enough food and fuel for the earth’s growing population without exploding the planet? The answer might just lie in pond scum. As anyone who has a pool or birdbath knows, pond scum (which is a form of algae) can grow extremely rapidly without any encouragement at all. What if we could genetically engineer this fast-growing algae to produce biofuels? What about protein for us to eat? Suddenly, all of the pressure that we are placing on the earth’s ecosystems might just lift.