Agriculture

Scientists uncover how plants invaded the land, learned to survive heat, drought
December 13, 2007 04:21 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

Berkeley -- Some 400 million years ago, on a lifeless lakeshore lapped by waves, floating algae learned to survive in the open air and launched an invasion that transformed the Earth into a green paradise. The secrets of these first steps onto land are now being revealed thanks to the sequencing of a modern descendent of these first land dwellers, a dainty moss called Physcomitrella patens that sprouts on recently exposed shorelines, quickly fruits, and then dies.

 

Indonesian man dies from bird flu
December 13, 2007 03:44 PM - Reuters

Runizar Roesin, head of the bird flu centre in Jakarta, told Reuters the 47-year-old man from Tangerang died on Thursday evening.

Asian desert dust found over western United States
December 13, 2007 01:14 PM - Vince Stricherz, University of Washington Newswire

Seattle, Washington - It has been a decade since University of Washington scientists first pinpointed specific instances of air pollution, including Gobi Desert dust, traversing the Pacific Ocean and adding to the mix of atmospheric pollution already present along the West Coast of North America.

Now a UW researcher is finding that dust from the Gobi and Taklimakan deserts in China and Mongolia is routinely present in the air over the western United States during spring months. "We are interested in Asian dust that comes across the Pacific because particles can have an impact on health, as well as on visibility," said Emily Fischer, a UW doctoral student in atmospheric sciences.

China and Mexico team up to fight wheat disease
December 13, 2007 12:46 PM - Arturo Barba, SciDevNet

MEXICO CITY - Two agricultural research organisations have agreed to collaborate on research to combat wheat diseases and develop climate change-resistant wheat varieties using traditional methods of breeding.The agreement, between the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, was signed last week.

Managing manure in California
December 12, 2007 05:32 PM - Alec Rosenberg, UC Merced Newswire

 

Merced, California -  A partnership between agricultural leaders and UC Merced aims to help California farmers maintain the environment and the economy.

California is the nation's leading dairy state, generating $5.2 billion in milk and cream sales a year. While that keeps the state's 1.7 million dairy cows busy making milk, they also produce plenty of manure. The manure is filled with nutrients that farmers can use as fertilizer, but it also can pollute the environment.

 

China takes U.S. to task on currency, food safety
December 12, 2007 06:53 AM - By Glenn Somerville and Eadie Chen, Reuters

XIANGHE, China (Reuters) - An assertive China fended off U.S. pressure over currency policy and food safety on Wednesday and told Washington to put its own house in order rather than blame Beijing for its economic problems.

Australia's PM hands over Kyoto papers in Bali
December 12, 2007 01:31 AM - By Supriyatin, Reuters

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (Reuters) - Australia's new prime minister handed over documents ratifying the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations in Bali on Wednesday and said his own country was already suffering from global warming.

Shell seeks to make diesel fuel from algae
December 11, 2007 05:34 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is to fund a project that aims to produce transport fuel from algae, as biofuel production from palm oil and crops are increasingly criticized for causing deforestation and higher food prices.

Oil major Shell said on Tuesday it would build a pilot facility in Hawaii to grow marine algae from which it would extract vegetable oil that would be converted into a form of diesel for use in trucks and cars.

Researchers combat slowing yields with targeted fertilizer applications
December 10, 2007 05:49 PM - American Society of Agronomy

MADISON, WI, DECEMBER 10, 2007– Scientists at Punjab Agricultural University, the International Rice Research Institute, and Virginia Tech have been successful in increasing average rice yields in northwest India using site-specific nutrient management strategies.

Nobel winners say science must transcend borders
December 10, 2007 12:05 PM - By Sarah Edmonds, Reuters

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Scientists must break through the boundaries between disciplines and nations to find solutions to some of the great unanswered questions, some of 2007's Nobel prize winners said on Friday.

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