Better Than Corn? Algae Set to Beat Out Other Biofuel Feedstocks
October 8, 2007 11:26 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
Forget corn, sugar cane, and even switchgrass. Some experts believe that algae is set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly way to produce liquid fuel, reports Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert. “It is easy to get excited about algae,” says Worldwatch Institute biofuels expert Raya Widenoja. “It looks like such a promising fuel source, especially if it’s combined with advances in biodiesel processing.”
Controversy Over Organic Dairy Continues
October 8, 2007 09:37 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it will not investigate complaints filed Sept. 13 by organic watchdog The Cornucopia Institute against Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD) and its two certifiers.The news comes just days after three public interest groups, including Cornucopia, defiantly vowed to disobey a demand from AOD to stop making "false and disparaging" statements against the Boulder, Colo.-based dairy or face legal action.
Egypt plan to green Sahara desert stirs controversy
October 8, 2007 09:05 AM - Will Rasmussen -Reuters
It looks like a mirage but the lush fields of cauliflower, apricot trees and melon growing among a vast stretch of sand north of Cairo's pyramids is all too real -- proof of Egypt's determination to turn its deserts green.
While climate change and land over-use help many deserts across the world advance, Egypt is slowly greening the sand that covers almost all of its territory as it seeks to create more space for its growing population.
Topps Meat goes out of business after recall
October 5, 2007 03:39 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Topps Meat Co LLC announced on Friday it was going out of business, crushed by the recall of 21.7 million pounds of beef linked to 30 cases of E. coli-related illness.
"In one week we have gone from the largest U.S. manufacturer of frozen hamburgers to a company that cannot overcome the economic reality of a recall this large," Anthony D'Urso, chief operating officer, said in a statement.
It was the fifth-largest meat or poultry recall in U.S. history, the Agriculture Department said. But no deaths have been reported due to the outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7, which can cause diarrhea and dehydration.
Green Blossom of Pittsburgh
October 5, 2007 12:41 PM - Greg Boulos, Ecological Home Ideas
Pittsburgh, PA - Many environmentally conscious urbanites dream of how great it would be to utilize the untapped flat rooftops that span every urban block in our nation. In Pittsburgh it narrows to one, Ernie Sota, who in the late 1970s proposed to add a biophilic space to the roof of his Victorian-era row house. After buying the building for a mere $8,000 and renovating it with his wife, Jan, Ernie stood before the zoning board and requested four variances to integrate a new type of urban yard into the roof of the building. He was granted his request. By utilizing the flat space as a garden and capturing the heating potential in a greenhouse to supplement the gas furnace, the Sotas were able to reduce their heat bills, grow some of their own food and spend time relaxing in a natural setting above the bustle of the city below.
Organic Tofu Recall, Listeria Discovered
October 5, 2007 12:05 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
San Francisco - As a precaution, a San Francisco tofu company has expanded a recall of their organic tofu. The soy products are being recalled after a bacteria called San Francisco - As a precaution, a San Francisco tofu company has expanded a recall of their organic tofu after a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in three of 29 products and 3 plant swabs. The organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. The company, Quong Hop & Co. of South San Francisco, California issued the recall voluntarily. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
CDC suspects 29 E.coli cases linked to Topps beef
October 4, 2007 08:27 PM -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 29 cases of E.coli illness are suspected to be linked to the 21.7 million lbs of recalled ground beef products from Topps Meat Company LLC.
No deaths have been linked to the meat. The 29 cases were in eight states: Connecticut (two cases), Florida (one), Indiana (one), Maine (one), New Jersey (six), New York (nine) Ohio (one) and Pennsylvania (eight), according to a posting on the CDC's Web site.
Study: Vitamin C Essential For Plant Growth
October 4, 2007 07:38 PM -
University of Exeter - Scientists from the University of Exeter and Shimane University in Japan have proved for the first time that vitamin C is essential for plant growth. This discovery could have implications for agriculture and for the production of vitamin C dietary supplements.The study, which is published in The Plant Journal, describes the newly-identified enzyme, GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase, which produces vitamin C, or ascorbate, in plants. Vitamin C is already known to be an antioxidant, which helps plants deal with stresses from drought to ozone and UV radiation, but until now it was not known that plants could not grow without it.
Bee Mating Habits Effect Queen's Physiology, Behavior, Permanently
October 4, 2007 07:30 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Mating has profound effects on the physiology and behavior of female insects, and in honey bee (Apis mellifera) queens, these changes are permanent.
Queens mate with multiple males during a brief period in their early adult lives, and shortly thereafter they initiate egg-laying. Furthermore, the pheromone profiles of mated queens differ from those of virgins, and these pheromones regulate many different aspects of worker behavior and colony organization. While it is clear that mating causes dramatic changes in queens, it is unclear if mating number has more subtle effects on queen physiology or queen-worker interactions; indeed, the effect of multiple matings on female insect physiology has not been broadly addressed.
Scientists Unlock Genome Of Crop Destroying Fungus
October 4, 2007 07:08 PM -
Purdue, Indiana - Why a pathogen is a pathogen may be answered as scientists study the recently mapped genetic makeup of a fungus that spawns the worst cereal grains disease known and also can produce toxins potentially fatal to people and livestock.
The fungus, which is especially destructive to wheat and barley, has resulted in an estimated $10 billion in damage to U.S. crops over the past 10 years. The scientists who sequenced the fungus' genes said that the genome will help them discover what makes this particular pathogen so harmful, what triggers the process that spreads the fungus and why various fungi attack specific plants.