rice paddy field

Traditional rice farmers join forces to stop bio-piracy

100 small-scale farmers have launched a network to keep traditional crop varieties in common use and to try to prevent the varieties from being grabbed by large agricultural companies who could try and cover the genes of the plants with intellectual property rights. The farmers from 15 states in India have launched the National Seed…
crab bleeding

Are horseshoe crabs being bled to death?

Blood from horseshoe crabs is an essential part of the biomedical industry. The unique blue blood that comes from the crabs help to ensure that vaccines and medical supplies remain free from bacterial contamination. But a new study raises fears that the method of bleeding wild horseshoe crabs could be affecting the population as numbers…
jiang_junhua-x

Cheap green supercapacitors – made from wood

When you think of advanced electronics or heavy-duty electrical storage, trees may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But a team from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has used wood waste to produce super capacitors that are as effective as advanced activated-carbon units. This offers extremely cheap and green opportunities for energy storage from wind and solar…
loggers

Breakthrough in biofuels from wood

Norwegian scientists have made a breakthrough in the production of biofuel from wood. The new process reduces the time that it takes to convert woodchips or sawdust into ethanol from weeks to just hours. This not only makes wood based biofuels economical to make but could reduce the competition between biofuel and food. “The time when we…
Michael Adams

Harvesting Carbon from the air for biofuel production

There is a lot of concern about climate change due to the carbon being pumped into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Could a solution to this problem be to not just capture the carbon during production but to convert the carbon to another fuel? Thanks to a bacteria that makes it home close to hydro-thermal vents…
bio-energy station

Capturing electricity from wetlands

Wetlands and marshlands could soon be offering more than just flood prevention and water purification as part of their ecosystem services. A researcher in the Netherlands has been able to tap the electricity generated from plant soil interactions and the technology is soon to go global. Wageningen University researcher Marjolein Helder undertook the research as part of her Phd and she…
damselfly

Restored wetlands are a shadow of their former self.

Wetlands have been involved in a losing battle ever since humans first started agriculture. Draining land for agriculture and development has gone on for hundreds of years but in recent times conservationists have been trying to turn things around with wetland restoration schemes. But it’s not just restoration of degraded wetlands that is now becoming common place.…

Microbes make mine water drinkable

Mine waste water can cause major health problems across the developing nations. When local water supply is polluted then the consequences can dire. However with a little help from bacteria it is possible to make mine water safe to drink.  Research has shown that dissolved zinc can be turned into solid form with bacteria. Understanding…
damselfly

Constructed Wetlands – Natural Water cleaners

Over the last decade or so there has been a substantial growth in the number of man-made wetlands being commissioned to treat wastewater. It’s easy to see why; cheap to build and operate, usually effective and good for nature. Is this one of those rare commodities, a win-win situation where both man and environment benefit?…