Coffee consumed by the coffee drinker represents only 0.2% of the biomass generated by the coffee plantation. The remaining 99.8% of the coffee plant and bean is considered waste. ZERI wanted to find a way to make use of that waste to generate additional income for the coffee farmers. But they also sought to create more of a closed-loop ecosystem, in which rather than having waste products that end up in rivers or landfills, or are burned, those wastes are themselves used within the system.
You are not alone. Your body is a collection of microbes, fungi, viruses… and even other animals. In fact, you aren't even the only animal using your face. Right now, in the general vicinity of your nose, there are at least two species of microscopic mites living in your pores. You would expect scientists ...
Britain has “significantly underestimated” the risk that crop pests pose to its food supply. Fungi and viruses present so great a danger to staples such as wheat and potatoes that they may force the nation to change its diet, an academic has warned. The rise of deadly pests poses a threat to the world’s entire food system, but the UK is among the most vulnerable countries, according to a new study from the University of Exeter. It forecasts that food-growing nations, including the UK, will be “overwhelmed” by pests within the next 30 years as climate change, inadequate biosecurity measures and new variants help them spread. “The UK has significantly underestimated the scale of the threat. This is a huge problem that is lacking in public and political awareness. People are absolutely paralysed with fear of diseases like Ebola, but while they are extremely dangerous, the need to tackle crop diseases is just as pressing,” said Professor Sarah Gurr, of the University of Exeter and Rothamsted Research. “We are not spending enough on research, on training, on surveillance and on biosecurity. Unless we significantly step up our efforts we could be forced to change our diets in the future as crops come and go,” she added. Crop pests include fungi, bacteria, viruses, insects, nematodes (worms) and viroids (plant viruses).
Fungi pose the biggest threat globally and in the UK, where they threaten the country’s wheat and potato harvests. Zymoseptoria tritici – or Septoria leaf blotch – and Blumeria graminis, a powdery mildew, are a danger to wheat, while the potato cyst nematode and new variants of Phytophthora infestans threaten the potato. The report warns that if crop pests continue to spread at their current rate a significant portion of the world’s biggest food-producing countries will be “saturated” with pests – the crops simply wouldn’t be able to accommodate any more.
A tiny San Diego-based company provided an experimental Ebola treatment for two Americans infected with the deadly virus in Liberia. The biotechnology drug, produced with tobacco plants, appears to be working.
Exotic pests, shrinking ranges and a changing climate threaten some of the world's most rare and ecologically important plants, and so conservationists establish seed collections to save the seeds in banks or botanical gardens in hopes of preserving some genetic diversity. For decades, these seed collections have been guided by simple models that offer a one-size-fits-all approach for how many seeds to gather. A new study, however, has found that more careful tailoring of seed collections to specific species and situations is critical to preserving plant diversity.
The practice was popular in the Victorian era, but there is only one artist seriously pursuing it today. Matthew Killip’s short film “The Diatomist,” which premieres exclusively with T, explores his unusual world.
Biomimicry in Youth Education: A Resource Toolkit for K-12 Educators is a digital flipbook indexing over 80 biomimicry education resources, selected to assist teachers working with students from kindergarten through high school. The collection includes quality lesson plans, curricular units, digital media, and more, gleaned from a broad survey of available materials. For educators new to the subject of biomimicry, the toolkit also offers a thorough introductory section containing an orientation to biomimicry’s core concepts and suggested strategies for communicating those ideas to students. Unless otherwise noted, the resources referenced in this toolkit are available online for free. A few require payment or registration. If you encounter any broken links, or have other information or suggestions related to content, please let us know!
No two potatoes are the same and there are 5,000 different varieties worldwide. And nowhere is that diversity more apparent than in Peru. Discover the mysteries and traditions surrounding the “real gold” of the Incas.
Eating tree nuts appears to help reduce two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and strokes, a new research paper says.