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TECHNICAL AREA > SCIENCE NEWS

Researchers identify natural plant compounds that work against insects

Many currently available insecticides present environmental and health risks. The need to develop novel effective insecticides is therefore urgent

S. C.

Crops can do their own weed control

Research from the University of Copenhagen now suggests that the war on weeds can be conducted more sustainably by asjusting sowing patterns and crop density

S. C.

Chitosan, a sustainable alternative for food packaging

A research group of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has used a material known as chitosan, made from crustacean shells, to substitute petroleum by-products

S. C.

The colour of the mug influences the taste of the coffee

The cup in which the coffee is served may affect us as a function of our perception of the general properties of the cup

T N

New insights into the origins of agriculture could help shape the future of food

Agricultural decisions made by our ancestors more than 10,000 years ago could hold the key to food security in the future, according to new research by the University of Sheffield

S. C.

Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be financially attractive

Incorporating a grain legume in a two-year cropping rotation decreased greenhouse gas emissions from wheat production, according to a study by researchers from The University of Western Australia

S. C.

Diet affects pesticide resistance in honey bees

Feeding honey bees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet, according to a team of researchers

S. C.

New discovery on pest fruit flies

Research findings should reduce trade barriers and boost pest control measures. The international collaborative effort, involving close to 50 researchers from 20 countries, began in 2009 and was coordinated by FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency

S. C.

Engineered strains of E. coli could improve the production of biogasoline

Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers combine systems biology with genetic engineering to improve production of isopentenol in E.Coli

S. C.

How plants take care of their offspring?

Plants may not travel around as animals do, but they have evolved many strategies that allow them to cope and make the most of the environment they live in

Bianca Santini

A new way of identifying genes that are important for photosynthesis in maize and in rice

C4 crops including maize, sorghum, switchgrass and sugarcane are able to withstand drought, heat, nitrogen and carbon dioxide limitations better than C3 crops, such as rice, wheat, barley and oats, due to their ability to efficiently make use of carbon dioxide and water that make carbohydrates we eat and cell wall polysaccharides

R. T.

Against pathogenic contamination seeds are colonized by benefical microbes

The symbiotic bacteria help the plants extract nutrients and defend against invaders – an important step in preventing pathogens from contaminating fruits and vegetables

S. C.

In dry soil and hight temperatures the organisms react more sensitive to marketable pesticides

Dry soil and at enhanced temperatures: both conditions may occur more often in the future due to climate change. Singularly and combined these factors lower the toxicity threshold of fungicides for springtails

S. C.

Many of the world’s most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests

The study identifies the pests likely to be the most invasive in coming years, including: three species of tropical root knot nematode; Blumeria graminis, a fungus that causes powdery mildew on wheat and other cereals; and the Citrus tristeza virus

R. T.

The University of Arizona helped unravel the genetic code of the canola plant

The findings will help breeders select for desirable traits such as richer oil content and faster seed production. Other potential applications include modifying the quality of canola oil, making it more nutritious and adapting the plants to grow in more arid regions

S. C.

New way to solve global ecological problems by using the technology gene drives

The idea is not new, but the Harvard-based researchers have now outlined a technically feasible way to build gene drives that potentially could spread almost any genomic change through populations of sexually reproducing species

S. C.

Land grabbing could help feed at least 300 million people

According Italian-American researchers the maximum amount of food that could be produced from crops grown on acquired lands and the number of people that this could feed. They also compared the use of traditional farming techniques to industrialised agricultural methods, to come up with the yield gap

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