Tiny Living Beings podcast S01 E08- Chlamydomonas and genetic engineering of algae - with Kyle Lauersen

16 January, 2023

What can we get algae to do for us (other than be beautiful and produce half of our oxygen)? How can we engineer different algae to create products and services we need? And what do algae SMELL like? Which smell like feet and which smell like "milky grass"? Dr. Kyle Lauersen is on this week's episode answering these questions and more! He explains all about his research on algal biotechnology and how we can engineer these tiny green cells to produce chemical products that are useful to us and clean up industrial and other aquatic waste. From aquaculture feeds, to perfumes, to ice creams without freezer burn, the little machines that are algal cells can do some amazing things! (We also take some time to discuss the Cyanidiophyceae red algae which are near and dear to my heart.)

Dr. Kyle Lauersen, PhD is an assistant professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). There he runs a lab that focuses on synthetic biology and metabolic engineering of various types of algae. You can follow his work on his lab's website, GoogleScholar, ResearchGate, and on Twitter: @KyleLauersen.

Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tiny-living-beings/id1656530299?i=1000594684406


Tiny Living Beings is a weekly podcast where listeners get to know a scientist, a weird microorganism they like, and why they think it’s interesting. Our planet is full of billions of different microscopic organisms, most of which are still unknown to science. The ones we do know are diverse and strange. Microbiology knowledge is often gatekept by scientists who discuss this information in exclusive professional circles, but more of these topics need to be shared with the public! Although generally upbeat and fun, conversations often tangentially address frustrations with society or become existential, which, because of the time we are living through, is inherently connected to any discussion of topical scientific information. Content is geared toward all ages and backgrounds, anyone who is scientifically curious.

For more info on microbes and to follow updates of this podcast, find @couch_microscopy on Instagram, @CouchMicroscopy on Twitter, or visit www.couchmicroscopy.com/store for merch!

Music is "Introducing Cosmic Space" by Elf Power and "Vorticella Dreams" by L. Felipe Benites.

While some of the content on this podcast may be relevant to human or veterinary medicine, this information is not medical advice. The views and opinions expressed on this program are those of the host and guests and do not reflect the views of any institution.