Pollination by Insects Produces Bigger Apples
January 16, 2014 09:12 AM - ENN Staff
Pollination can occur in several different ways, but usually plants rely on animals or wind to help pollinate them and help distribute their pollen and seeds. However, a new study shows that apple trees produce bigger, rounder, and more desirable fruit when pollinated by insects in particular. Researchers studied Cox and Gala apples, two popular varieties in Britain, and valued the annual contribution of insects to these fruits at just under £37 million (60 million USD).
From Waste to Food to Fuel: Rice Production and Green Charcoal in Senegal
January 15, 2014 12:54 PM - Andrew Alesbury, Worldwatch Institute
Inadequate management of human waste is a dire problem in much of the developing world. Swelling urban populations can make matters worse by exposing increasingly dense populations to illnesses carried by human waste.
Supreme Court Issues Decision in Landmark GMO Lawsuit
January 15, 2014 08:59 AM - Food Democracy Now via, The Ecologist
The US Supreme Court has denied organic and GMO-free farmers their day in Court against Monsanto - leaving them unable to challenge the company's patents or seek redress for GMO seed contamination. The US Supreme Court has issued a decision in the landmark federal lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto. Farmers were denied the right to argue their case in court and gain protection from potential abuse by the agrichemical and genetic engineering giant, Monsanto. The decision also dashes the hopes of family farmers who sought the opportunity to prove in court that Monsanto's genetically engineered seed patents are invalid.
Newly Discovered Modifier Protein Could Stimulate Plant Growth Under Environmental Stress
January 14, 2014 09:05 AM - ENN Staff
Whether or not you have a green thumb, if a plant is not completely happy with the right about of water, sunlight, or even the right make-up of soil, plants will slow their growth or even stop growing altogether in order to save energy. But according to new research led by scientists at Durham University, plants contain a natural mechanism that could stimulate their growth even under stress, which could potentially lead to better crop yields.
Tree Island restoration
January 10, 2014 09:06 AM - Liz Kimbrough, MONGABAY.COM
Worldwide, large swaths of land lay barren in the wake of agricultural expansion, and as global forest cover continues to decline, carbon and water cycles, biodiversity, and human health are impacted. But efforts to restore abandoned pastures and agricultural plots back into functioning forest ecosystems are often hindered by high costs and time requirements. Fortunately, scientists have developed a new method for a more cost effective solution to forest restoration, the establishment of "tree islands."
Giant wave of understanding in South China Sea
January 8, 2014 03:43 PM - David L. Chandler, MIT
Their effect on the surface of the ocean is negligible, producing a rise of just inches that is virtually imperceptible on a turbulent sea. But internal waves, which are hidden entirely within the ocean, can tower hundreds of feet, with profound effects on the Earth's climate and on ocean ecosystems. Now new research, both in the ocean and in the largest-ever laboratory experiments to investigate internal waves, has solved a longstanding mystery about exactly how the largest known internal waves, in the South China Sea, are produced. The new findings come from a team effort involving MIT and several other institutions, and coordinated by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
Stink Bugs: Friend or Foe
January 6, 2014 10:07 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
Stink bugs are fierce prehistoric looking bugs. Some are indeed quite fierce and others stink more than they bite! In many parts of the world including their native range of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is considered an agricultural pest. Yet other genera of stink bugs, specifically the Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas), are considered an important biological control agent for other insect pests in the cotton, soybean, tomato, corn, and kale fields.
After 40,000 Facebook posts on General Mills Facebook page demanding GM-free Cheerios, the company announces - 'original' Cheerios contain no GM ingredients. The corn starch for original Cheerios comes only from non-GMO corn, and our sugar is only non-GMO pure cane sugar. The GMO Inside campaign is claiming victory with the announcement by General Mills that its leading Cheerios cereal product will from now on be GM-free in North America. News of the company's commitment came on the cereal's dedicated website: "We don't use genetically modified ingredients in original Cheerios. Our principal ingredient has always been whole grain oats - and there are no GMO oats. We use a small amount of corn starch in cooking, and just one gram of sugar per serving for taste. But our corn starch comes from non-GMO corn, and we use only non-GMO pure cane sugar."
Catching Weevils with Different Colored Traps
January 3, 2014 08:15 AM - ENN Staff
The weevil is a type of beetle that is known for damaging crops. Whether they damage stored grain or dried food products, or attack cotton crops, the many types of weevils can cause problems for farmers and consumers alike. In an effort to develop more eco-friendly control methods for the weevil, researches have discovered that different colored traps attract more sweet potato weevils than other colors.
COLLEGIATE CORNER: Saving Earth from Space
January 2, 2014 12:41 PM - Destiny Allen; Environment, Economics, Development, Sustainability (EEDS), Class of 2015, The Ohio State University
When we think of the environment, we do not immediately jump to thinking of outer space. The environment usually conjures up images on Earth of breathless beauty, but this does not mean a solution to renewable energy is bound to the limits of our planet.