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Algae Biofuel Spin-Off: Safer New Foods That Can Prevent Genetic Damage
Date:1/7/2011

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A number of new ventures, funded with millions of dollars by large oil companies and major investors, are growing algae to produce biodiesel, jet fuel and other biofuels. Many of these processes use fossil fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) to "feed" their photosynthetic algae, which as a side effect could help reduce global warming. But a potentially greater advantage from using fossil fuel CO2 to grow algae is that it can create a wide variety of safer, less radioactive foods that could reduce risks of cancer and even slow the aging process.

Most people are unaware that every type of food we currently eat is measurably contaminated with a particular radioactive material from the air known as carbon-14, or radiocarbon. These radioactive atoms get permanently incorporated into the DNA of every child's body and brain cells as they grow up, and will cause tens of billions of genetic damage events in every person over their lifetime. This genetic damage may be an important factor in cancer and the aging process.  

But the carbon dioxide obtained from burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas at power plants, or from limestone in cement manufacturing, is virtually free of radiocarbon. It can be used to grow algae for making safer, less radioactive foods.

Most companies currently plan to grow algae primarily for its lipid or carbohydrate content for use in biofuels. The leftover protein component of algae is unusable for biofuels, and until now has been considered a low value by-product that could only be sold as inexpensive animal feed or burned for energy.

But algae, when grown using fossil fuel or limestone carbon dioxide in a controlled environment, will be up to 99% free of radiocarbon. Although this makes no difference for biofuels, it dramatically increases the potential value of the protein component when sold for animal feed or use in foods and vitamins for people. Depending on the ty
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SOURCE Radiocarb Genetics, Inc.
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