Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us

Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us

by Ruth Kassinger

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“No organisms are more important to life as we know it than algae. In Slime, Ruth Kassinger gives this underappreciated group its due.”Elizabeth Kolbert

Say “algae” and most people think of pond scum. What they don’t know is that without algae, none of us would exist.

There are as many algae on Earth as stars in the universe, and they have been essential to life on our planet for eons. Algae created the Earth we know today, with its oxygen-rich atmosphere, abundant oceans, and coral reefs. Crude oil is made of dead algae, and algae are the ancestors of all plants. Today, seaweed production is a multibillion-dollar industry, with algae hard at work to make your sushi, chocolate milk, beer, paint, toothpaste, shampoo, and so much more.
In Slime we’ll meet the algae innovators working toward a sustainable future: from seaweed farmers in South Korea, to scientists using it to clean the dead zones in our waterways, to the entrepreneurs fighting to bring algae fuel and plastics to market.
With a multitude of lively, surprising science and history, Ruth Kassinger takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes, and into-the-kitchen tour. Whether you thought algae was just the gunk in your fish tank or you eat seaweed with your oatmeal, Slime will delight and amaze with its stories of the good, the bad, and the up-and-coming.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544433151
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 558,365
File size: 14 MB
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About the Author

RUTH KASSINGER is the author of Paradise Under Glass and A Garden of Marvels. Her writing has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, the Washington Post, the Atlantic,Natural History Magazine,National Geographic Explorer, and other publications.
RUTH KASSINGER is the author of Paradise Under Glass and A Garden of Marvels, as well as a number of award-winning science and history books for young adults. She has written for the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune,Health magazine,National Geographic Explorer, and other publications. She is a frequent speaker at conservatories, arboretums, and garden clubs, and has been featured on radio shows and Voice of America.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Section I In the Beginning

1 Pond Life 3

2 Something New Under the Sun 10

3 Algae Get Complicated 17

4 Land Ho, Going Once 21

5 Land Ho, Going Twice 30

6 Looking for Lichens 35

Section II Glorious Food

1 Brain Food 45

2 Seaweed Salvation 56

3 On a Grand Scale 63

4 Welshmen's Delight 72

5 A Way of Life 79

6 Flash! 90

7 Spirulina 98

Section III Practical Matters

1 Feeding Plants and Animals 105

2 In the Thick of It 118

3 Land Ho, Going Thrice 127

4 Seaweed Stuff 135

5 Algae Oil 148

6 The Algae's Not for Burning 162

7 Ethanol 171

8 The Future of Algae Fuel 182

Section IV Algae and the Changing Climate

1 Gadzoox 195

2 Saving the Reefs? 205

3 A Plague Upon Us 220

4 Cleanup 228

5 Making Monsters 238

6 Geoengineering 245

Epilogue 255

Acknowledgments 261

Appendix: Recipes 262

Selected and Annotated Bibliography 271

Index 291

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