by Valentina Lagomarsino figures by Rebecca Senft In the year 600 B.C.E., the climate was arid and dry along the Euphrates River in Western Asia, but there were lush gardens climbing up the walls of the metropolis, Babylon. It is believed that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were surviving through a pulley-system of water from the river, a technique of agricultural that today is known … Continue reading Hydroponics: The power of water to grow food
Air pollution conjures up images of dirty factory smokestacks or crowded traffic-clogged cities. A recent study, however, revealed that one significant source of air pollution in America is actually associated with corn. The researchers found that the fertilizer used to increase crop yields can cause a kind of air pollution called PM2.5 (Particle Matter 2.5 micrometers thick), resulting in negative health impacts for people living nearby. … Continue reading Clean Corn? Study Measures Effects of Air Pollution in Corn Farming
The next time you sit down to make a deposit at your local porcelain bank, you might want to think twice before flushing. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Center for Disease Control have conducted a comprehensive analysis of global fecal production and have finally put a price tag on your poo – with promising implications for developing countries. Read Trevor Haynes’ article to find out more. Continue reading One Man’s Waste, Another Man’s Fortune
In order to feed every human being on the planet by 2050, the world will need to produce far more food. One difficulty farmers face is finding enough fresh water. A group of scientists led by Katarzyna Glowacka, from the University of Illinois, Urbana, may have found a potential way to save farmers water. The group’s technique hinges on the stomata of plants. Stomata are … Continue reading Thirsty Plants: Can plants be genetically modified to need less water?
by George Touloumes figures by Brad Wierbowski Would you ever consider eating meat that was grown in a lab instead of raised on a farm? What if it were both healthier and more sustainable than conventional meat? Silicon Valley venture capital firms and major meat companies like Tyson Foods are now investing tens of millions of dollars in bioengineering research to produce exactly that kind … Continue reading Making Steak out of Spinach: How bioengineering could change meat production
by Fernanda Ferreira figures by Shannon McArdel Semper augustus was once the most coveted flower in Holland . The Dutch were used to single-hued tulips, collectively called Couleren, but Semper augustus was something else. With its splashes of red on white, this bi-colored or variegated tulip became the symbol of tulipomania, a brief period during the Dutch Golden Age when a single tulip bulb could … Continue reading Plant Viruses: An oft-forgotten threat to food security
A team of Australian scientists lead by Rocky De Nys (James Cook University) discovered that a certain type of red seaweed, called Asparagopsis taxiformis, can decrease the amount of methane produced by the bacteria found in a cow’s stomach. Lauren Kuntz explains that methane is a very potent but short-lived greenhouse gas. Limiting methane produced by livestock, a major source of the gas, could help … Continue reading Seaweed May Cut Cows Methane Production