Water 'Thermostat' Could Help Engineer Drought-Resistant Crops
Researchers have identified a gene that could help scientists engineer drought-resistant crops. The gene encodes a protein in the cell membrane of plants that senses changes in water availability and adjusts the plant's water conservation machinery accordingly. The findings could lead to new ways to help plants thrive when water is scarce.
Drones Emerge as a Conservation Tool
Ecologist Lian Pin Koh is pioneering the use of drones in conservation efforts and biological research across the globe. Koh claims that advances in aerial equipment and technology have made drones a key part of conservation strategies for marine reserves, rainforests, and many other landscapes, mostly in the developing world.
Tech entrepreneurs hope to get us hooked on more efficient, algorithmically derived food. A handful of start-ups are out to revolutionize the food system by engineering “meat” and “eggs” from pulverized plant compounds or cultured snippets of animal tissue. One company imagines doing away with grocery shopping, cooking and even chewing, with a liquid meal made from algae byproducts.
Polder and Wiser
Dutch scientists, businesses, and government have always worked to boost productivity; now they seek to sell their expertise to foreign farmers concerned about limited resources and quality control. Traditional farming methods, as practiced in most of the world, are both expensive and environmentally damaging, and for sustainable and intensive food production, the Dutch are in the lead.