Imec – membrane-based plant cultivation lets plants grow on film instead of soil

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWvrkJJbPoM&hd=1[/youtube]

This video provides more insight (on both the advantages and the disadvantages of Imec)

Tokyo-based Mebiol is working on an membrane–based plant cultivation technology called Imec that makes it possible to let plants grow on thin film instead of soil. The film is made of a water-absorbent material called hydrogel and is just “tens of microns” thick.

 

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Organic Strawberries Have Better Taste and Nutrition Than Conventional According to a New Study

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Organic strawberries

In the tug of war over whether organic farming is really better than conventional chemical-laden farming, a new study in the online peer-reviewed journal PLoS One comes out solidly in support of the benefits of organic. Self-described as the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers from Washington State University found that commercial organic farms produce was more flavorful and nutritious strawberries, while leaving the soil healthier and genetically diverse.

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Incredible Sinkholes Around the World

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Taichung, Taiwan, 1999: earthquake-opened sinkhole filled with molasses spilled from nearby storage tanks.

Sinkholes tend to appear suddenly, and while particular regions are famously prone to sinkholes they happen all over the world.  Sinkholes form when the bedrock or soil underneath subsides, forcing the topsoil (or in many cases concrete) to collapse. They can be exceptionally large (several hundred meters in diameter and depth) and can swallow everything directly above.  They’ve been known to “swallow” cars, homes, businesses, and other structures. (Pics)

 

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Bacteria Found in Garden Soil That Can Make You Smarter and Happier

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Bacteria found in soil can decrease anxiety and increase intelligence.

Mycobacterium vaccae bacteria are already known to decrease anxiety, but it might have even more dramatic properties. Recent studies on mice suggest the bacteria, commonly found in the soils of people’s gardens, also increases intelligence and the ability to learn.

 

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25 Other Uses for Coffee Filters

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Get Creative With Your Coffee Filters!

I use a permanent silk filter for my coffee maker, but I still have open packages of filters. Now I can put those filters to work doing other things! And you can buy 1,000 at most dollar stores for pennies, even the large ones.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the  microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome…  Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.

3.  Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

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Self-Powered Diaper Monitor System Automatically Detects Wet Diapers

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A research laboratory at Japan’s Ritsumeikan University has developed a monitoring system for wet diapers that consists of a self-powered sensor/transmitter and a receiver and is supposed to assist staff in hospitals and nursing homes in performing diaper checks with elderly patients. The sensor kit has to be placed inside the diaper and sends signals to the receiver unit, which was co-developed in collaboration with Seiko Epson.

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Plowing Carbon Into the Fields

5 Tractor Exhaust into Ground 653

Plowing tractor exhaust into the field, eliminating fertilizer costs

A wheat farmer in Australia has eliminated adding fertilizer to his crop by the simple process of injecting the cooled diesel exhaust of his modified tractor into the ground when the wheat is being sown. In doing so he eliminates releasing carbon into the atmosphere and at the same time saves himself up to $500,000 (AUD) that would have been required to fertilize his 3,900 hectares in the traditional way. Yet his crop yields over the last two years have been at least on par with his best yields since 2001. The technique was developed by a Canadian, Gary Lewis of Bio Agtive, and is currently in trial at 100 farms around the world.

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Living Wall Systems

Living Wall Systems

Example of a BioWall 

We’ve all seen them in action (sort of), so now it is time to check them out on a new level and get at least a cursory look at the different off-the-shelf options out there for living walls. A few select companies are offering systems that are available to North American buyers and beyond. Here’s a summary of what I have found to date…  (Pics)

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The Mysterious Mima Mounds

The Mysterious Mima Mounds 

We don’t know what they are, where they came from, or what caused them

Scientists love a mystery. Biologists used to have the human genome, but now they have the structure of protein. Physics used to have cosmic rays, but now they have the God particle. Astronomers used to have black holes, but now they have dark matter. (Pics)

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World’s Largest Sand Carpet

World’s Largest Sand Carpet

When one thinks of sand art, sand castles are what often comes to mind, but Tibetan Buddhist monks have long designed magnificent mandalas out of colored sand, for which Iranian artists have put a new spin to – famous for their traditional Persian rugs, a group of artists have taken it to a whole new level by creating the world’s largest sand carpet.

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