Hundreds of thousands of species of micro-algae float in stretches of water the world over. Only a tiny fraction of them have been studied. We cannot begin to imagine the untapped potential of this resource! For decades, the area most focused on has been that of producing biofuels. But now, other dreams have come to the fore. Some people emphasise the potential use of micro-algae as alternative sources of protein. Others believe that micro-algae could replace plastic. Furthermore, they could also be the basis of food supplements for animals. And, above all, even if not actively exploited, micro-algae play a vital role in trapping carbon dioxide. Micro-algae absorb more carbon and produce more oxygen than all the tropical forests on Earth. It is they who are the true ‘lungs of the planet’. A giant like ExxonMobil is working with Synthetic Genomics towards using algae to produce 10,000 barrels per day of biofuels by 2025. Using the same surface area, algae produce more than five times the amount of biofuel than sugar cane or corn, about 1,500 gallons or 5,500 litres per acre.