Focusing on one cell

Most people don’t think highly of pond scum, but for Susan Dutcher, PhD, professor of genetics and of cell biology and physiology at the School of Medicine, the single-celled green algae Chlamydomonas are incredible creatures worthy of her life’s work.

Champion hydrogen-producing microbe

The cyanobacteria are famous for releasing the oxygen that made the Earth a hospitable planet, but some strains also have a hidden talent for producing hydrogen gas, a potential biofuel. With the help of a few metabolic tricks, a lab at Washington University has coaxed one such strain to produce champion levels of the gas.