Helix…Algae…See connection?

Indeed! Our lab, and in particular a PhD student Nuphar Bianco-Stein, has shown for the first time that the structure of Jania alga, the specie of coralline red algae, has helical structure. This helical arrangement of the structure makes the alga 20% more compliant to sustain the bending forces due to the sea waves. This study was performed utilising three different synchrotron beamlines at the ERSF facilities. Micro- and nanotomography (ID19 and ID16B) enabled the visualisation of Jania’s helix structure and its high porosity on the micro and nano-scales. High-resolution powder diffraction (ID22) revealed that Jania alga’s skeleton is made of high magnesium calcite. Visit the ESRF webpage to find out more. Join us to congratulate Nuphar on the publication of her paper in Advanced Science!