Under your feet is an information superhighway made of fungi

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Mushroom bodies are made of a mass of thin thread called mycelium. Mycelium acts as an information superhighway that speeds up interaction, of a diverse population and plants. But just as our networks are not always safe, these fungi networks too have a dark side of plants using the networks to their advantage.

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Skyfarms, Wind-powered, vertical structures, are the future of agriculture

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The future of farming is coming to the big city. Skyfarm, a hyperboloid tower that combines different farming techniques, from aquaponics to traditional soil based methods, in a bamboo structure that generates wind energy, won an award at the 2014 World Architecture Festival’s Future Projects Experimental category. The design was praised by the jury as a “thorough, believable, and beautiful project.”

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Organic Burial Pods Turn Your Loved Ones Into Trees

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The very thought of death puzzles, touches and disturbs us all. One thing we do know for sure is that not one of us will escape death, and so you might as well know how you want to be buried.

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Scientists create cyborg rose

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Swedish scientists are taking the futuristic idea of plant cyborgs and making the leap from science fiction to real-world science. They have been working on ways to regulate plant growth, using electronic wires grown inside the plants own nutrient channels to host sensors and drug-delivery systems. The aim is to provide just the right amount of plant hormones at just the right time. Such efforts could provide even more precise human control over plant production and agriculture.

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This ‘artificial leaf’ could produce the cleanest energy on Earth

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Plants are the original solar power generators, turning the sun’s rays into energy through the process we all learned about in biology class: photosynthesis. So, when we think of solar power, we should be thinking about plants instead of solar panels.

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Trees improve your health, and researchers develop tool to show exactly where cities should plant them

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Pollution levels decrease and the health of people improves when cities plant trees. Studies show that America’s trees save thousands of lives a year, mainly by preventing breathing-related problems (they also make you feel like you have more money, if you’re into that sort of thing).

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Dutch company using living plants to power streetlights

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Dutch company harnessing electricity from living plants.

The Dutch company Plant-e, is using living plants to power more than 300 streetlights, WiFi hotspots, and cell phone chargers.  The “Starry Sky” project started in November 2014 by Plant-e near Amsterdam in an old ammunition site called HAMburg.

 

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Algae used to extract metals from mine tailings

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England’s Cornish Tin Mine

Jamie Doward – A pioneering research project to clean up a flooded Cornish tin mine is using algae to harvest the precious heavy metals in its toxic water, while simultaneously producing biofuel.

If the project, which is at a very early stage, is proven to work, it could have huge environmental benefits around the world.

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Latest thinking about terraforming Mars, introducing cyanobacteria

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Terraforming Mars

While scientists believe that at one time, long ago, Mars had an atmosphere similar to Earth’s and was covered with flowing water, the reality today is quite different. In fact, the surface of Mars is so hostile that a vacation in Antarctica would seem pleasant by comparison.

In addition to the extreme cold, there is little atmosphere to speak of and virtually no oxygen. However, a team of students from Germany wants to change that. Their plan is to introduce cyanobacteria into the atmosphere which would convert the ample supplies of CO² into oxygen gas, thus paving the way for possible settlements.

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Scientists reinventing photosynthesis to feed the world

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If we could make the process more efficient, scientists estimate we could increase yields by 36 to 60 percent.

What if we ended up with 50% more rice and wheat by using the same amount of water and fertilizer? Sound impossible? No, just some chemistry and genetic engineering. Scientists have recently figured out the second of three steps to make photosynthesis a whole lot more efficient in plants.

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RoboBees will pollinate crops instead of real bees

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As soon as 10 years from now these RoboBees could artificially pollinate a field of crops.

Honeybees pollinate nearly one-third of the food we eat but they have been dying at unprecedented rates because of a mysterious phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). The situation is so dire that in late June the White House gave a new task force just 180 days to devise a coping strategy to protect bees and other pollinators. The crisis is generally attributed to a mixture of disease, parasites, and pesticides.

 

 

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