Can We Improve Carbon Sequestration in Plants?

May 7, 2018 Guest Authors 0

And here …The planet’s plants pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and store it in their leaves, stems and roots. Some of that carbon makes its way into the soil, and some of that soil carbon is ultimately mothballed for millennia.

These days, though, “we as humans are putting up so much CO2 that the Earth is not able to compensate,” says Wolfgang Busch, a plant biologist with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. Busch is working on a new project: to design plants that can suck even more CO2 out of the atmosphere and lock it away for centuries.

Years of Eavesdropping on Insect Sex Talk is Starting to Pay Off for Grape Growers

April 18, 2018 Guest Authors 0

Vineyards across the U.S. and Italy are being devastated by incurable diseases caused by bacteria hitching a ride on leafhoppers — a diverse group of plant-piercing insects closely related to cicadas. Now, thanks to some innovative research, scientists are using a technique called vibrational mating disruption to interrupt male-leafhopper courtship songs, preventing them from finding mates and slowing population growth.

2. Can Manure Sustain Soils?

February 7, 2018 Andrew McGuire 0

Returning manure to the soil that produced it can be a sustainable way of restoring soil organic matter. Too often the organic matter of many farms is pushed through the bottleneck of intensive livestock production to be applied just a few farms. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Just Say No to “GMO”

June 5, 2017 Kevin Folta 0

Kevin Folta explains why it’s important to use the scientifically accurate term “genetically engineered” to refer to biotech crops and animals rather than the sloppy and baggage laden “GMO”.

The Dutch Weed Burger . . . Seaweed, that is.

June 1, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Five years ago, Kulsom and his colleague Lisette Kreischer founded a company called The Dutch Weed Burger after they shot a documentary about the role of seaweed as a future source of protein. Kulsom says the company’s mission is “to work on the acceptance of seaweed becoming a part of the new paradigm.”

Enter their first product: the weed burger.

At first, a seaweed burger seems like an unusual choice, but it begins to make sense after a while.

Can We Save the Algae Biofuel Industry?

May 30, 2017 Guest Authors 0

In the last decade or so, vast amounts of money have been invested in the development of algae for biofuel production. This made sense because, ten years ago, there was a need to find alternatives to fossil fuels due to the high oil price and the increasing recognition that carbon emissions were causing climate change. Algal biofuels were touted as the answer to these twin problems, and huge investment followed.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite to plan.

Does Industry Funding for Research Poison the Well?

May 29, 2017 Guest Authors 0

When a research team included an industry partner, our participants were generally less likely to think the scientists would consider a full range of evidence and listen to different voices. An industry partner also reduced how much participants believed any resulting data would provide meaningful guidance for making decisions.

Six Tips to Recognize Good Science

May 18, 2017 Guest Authors 0

How can you tell good science from bad science? As the quality of peer review falters and pop science reporting relies on controversy it gets harder all the time. Here are six guidelines for separating the signal from the noise.

Have We Lost 75% of Crop Diversity? It’s Not That Simple

May 17, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Colin K. Khoury of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture looks at claims that 75% of crop diversity has been lost in the modern era. Instead, he finds that though there have been winners and losers among crops as agriculture has intensified, over the past 50 years, almost all countries’ diets actually became more diverse, not less, for the crops that FAO statistics do report.