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Posts Tagged "farming"

@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American Science in Action in Swaziland

Sakhiwe Shongwe (left center, in green sweater), Bonkhe Mahlalela (right center, in green sweater) and local farmers in Swaziland.

We judges and others who work on the Google Science Fair believe that kids have the power to change the world. The $50,000 Scientific American Science in Action Award recognizes a particular type of change—one that focuses on making a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. (For more on the award [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Satisfy Your Curiosity with Our New E-Book, Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food

Future of Food Cover

Still hungry after devouring our September 2013 single topic issue: Food? Engage in some guilt-free gluttony with our new companion eBook: Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food. With global population numbers projected to increase by 2 billion by 2050, a veritable food crisis is on the horizon. In this eBook, we examine [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Science in Action Continues in Swaziland

Last year, Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela of Swaziland, both then 14, won the first Scientific American-sponsored $50,000 Science in Action award as part of the Google Science Fair. Their project, which they titled a Unique Simplified Hydroponics Method, or USHM, used mostly freely available waste materials (cardboard boxes for containers, sawdust or grass as [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Meet the Science in Action Finalists

Who will win the first $50,000 Science in Action prize, sponsored by Scientific American? This award, offered as part of the 2012 Google Science Fair, will recognize a student project that addresses a social, environmental, ethical, health or welfare issue to make a practical difference to the lives of a group or community, and that [...]

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Brainwaves

The Science of Pomato Plants and Fruit Salad Trees

In an episode of Matt Groening’s animated science fiction sitcom Futurama, Leela offers her friend Fry an unusual housewarming gift: a bonsai tree sprouting tiny bananas, melons and plums. “It’s a miniature fruit salad tree,” she explains. Here’s the thing: fruit salad trees are real. In Australia, James and Kerry West grow and sell four [...]

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Extinction Countdown

3 British Moths Extinct; Most Other Species in Decline

Orange Upperwing - A Spalding, Butterfly Conservation

Three moth species have disappeared from the U.K. in the past decade and two thirds of the species that remain have suffered dramatic population crashes according to new research from the organizations Butterfly Conservation and Rothamsted Research. The news is published in the new report “The State of Britain’s Larger Moths 2013″ (pdf), which covers [...]

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Food Matters

Move Over, Kale, The New Super Vegetable Comes From The Sea. [VIDEO]

3d-farming-posterframe

Eat Kelp. It’s chock-full of nutrients, it mitigates climate change by sequestering carbon, improves oceans by soaking up excess nitrogen and phosphorus, and has potential as a valuable fertilizer and biofuel. It’s also delicious. Bren Smith,  owner of Connecticut-based Thimble Island Oyster Company, and director of the organization Greenwave started growing kelp and shellfish as a [...]

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Food Matters

Today I’m thankful for turkey, which means I’m thankful for corn, fish, gasoline, and much, much more.

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On Thursday, millions across the country will gather in dining rooms around fragrant, large, delicious dead birds, stuffed with even more delicious spoonfuls of cornbread, celery, and savory herbs. Gravy will flow. Potatoes will be mashed. And pie. Oh, the pie. The abundance on the table is meant to represent the abundance in our lives, [...]

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Food Matters

Cultivating Reform: Planting The Seeds For Healing The Food System

Travis

In late October, the Yale Rudd Center got a visit from Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right To Food. He began his talk, Reforming the Food Systems: Making the Transition Succeed,  by painting a bleak picture. There are three areas in which our food systems are failing us, De Schutter said: ecological limits, social [...]

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Observations

Mystery Lingers around Origin of GM Wheat in Oregon

Triticum_polonicum_L_7

When the fresh wheat samples arrived at her lab this spring, Carol Mallory-Smith, a weed scientist, didn’t know what to expect. The concerned farmer who sent them had contacted her because a patch of wheat had refused to die after being treated with a powerful herbicide called Roundup. “The farmer asked me if the wheat [...]

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Observations

Adaptation to Starchy Diet Was Key to Dog Domestication

Dog

They work with us, play with us and comfort us when we’re down. Archaeological evidence indicates that dogs have had a close bond with humans for millennia. But exactly why and how they evolved from their wolf ancestors into our loyal companions has been something of a mystery. Now a new genetic analysis indicates that [...]

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Observations

Will Humanity Face a Carbohydrate Shortage?

farmland-from-space

Photosynthesis is the single most important transformation on Earth. Using the energy in sunlight, all plants—from single-celled algae to towering redwoods—knit carbon dioxide and water into food and release oxygen as a byproduct. Every year, humanity uses up roughly 40 percent of the planet’s photosynthesis for our own purposes—from feeding a growing population to biofuels. [...]

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Observations

GMO Bonus: Genetically Engineered Cotton Benefits Farmers, Predatory Insects

Bt-cotton

Cotton genetically engineered to produce a natural pest killer not only reduces the spraying of pesticides, but has also boosted the populations of beneficial insects, according to a new study. The study monitored the impacts of so-called Bt cotton over more than 20 years and 2.6 million hectares of farmland in northern China and found [...]

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Observations

Can the “Urban Advantage” Bring Better Global Health as City Populations Skyrocket?

urban health advantage cities population growth

City dwellers are thought to be, on average, healthier than their rural counterparts. This so-called urban health advantage is usually attributed to better access to health care and improved overall infrastructure, such as clean water, safety and education. But many of the globe’s cities are already bursting and actually offer a far worse quality of [...]

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Observations

How to Feed the World While Earth Cooks

harvest

A conference on feeding the world must also feed itself. Having attended more than my share of such conferences, I can say that the norm is keynotes that rally the troops in favor of organics while said troops munch on tortilla or potato chips. Or there is the earnest vegan route. (This is not a [...]

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Observations

How to Fight Food Insecurity, Even in a Changing Climate

harvesting food

About 800 million people worldwide do not get enough food to eat, while about 1.5 billion are overweight. As the global population expands by an additional 2 billion people by 2050 and climate change alters traditional agricultural areas, scientists and policy makers are racing to figure out how to address both problems. (Read more about [...]

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Observations

Farmers May Have Kicked Off Local Climate Change 3,500 Years Ago

congo-river

Humans may have been causing climate change for much longer than we’ve been burning fossil fuels. In fact, the agrarian revolution may have started human-induced climate changes long before the industrial revolution began to sully the skies. How? Through the clearing of forests, which still remains the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

First Octopus Farms Get Growing

octopus farms

Fish farms now produce million tons of fish each year around the globe. But octopuses have largely escaped this kind of confined aquaculturing, despite a growing global demand and overfishing. Why? That’s the million-ton question. Based on their brief life cycles, prolific reproduction and efficient metabolisms, octopuses should be ideal candidates for aquaculture. They have short [...]

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Symbiartic

Urban Farm Versus the Apocalypse

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Urban Farm on a Rainy Day © Jon Ellis (aka jonorobo). Click each image to see enlarged version on DeviantArt. Most concept art is obsessed with various forms of self-inflicted apocalypse.  If humanity has any hope to avert future catastrophes, that hope lays with designers, architects and engineers. I came across the Urban Farm concept art [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Cows Learn Better With Friends

dairy calf

My schoolteachers took effort to separate close friends when arranging their classroom seating charts. The idea was that we’d pay more attention to our lessons if we were distracted by our buddies. Dairy cattle also tend to be separated from each other, but that may actually put them at a disadvantage. Calves are separated from [...]

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