Tuesday, July 22, 2014

World's largest—and most gross—aquatic insect discovered in China

Source: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/worlds-largest-and-grossest-aquatic-insect-discovered-i-1608220936/+caseychan

World's largest—and most gross—aquatic insect discovered in China

A new specimen of an insect was found this month in a mountain in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. The insect belongs to the order of Megaloptera and has a wingspan of 21 centimeters—8.3 inches.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

The World Is Your Sauna With a Material That Uses Sunshine to Make Steam

Source: http://gizmodo.com/make-the-world-your-sauna-this-material-turns-sunshine-1608377420

The World Is Your Sauna With a Material That Uses Sunshine to Make Steam

Good news for vaporized water fans everywhere: MIT researchers have developed a disc-shaped material structure that generates steam using solar power.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

drag2share: Bye, Bye OJ? The World's Citrus Is Being Destroyed รข Here's What Scientists Are Doing About It

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/Z7yPstys_8Q/citrus-greening-destroying-orange-juice-2014-6

citrus greening orange blight psyllid

Anyone who delights in freshly squeezed orange juice or eats grapefruit for breakfast should take a moment to stop and savor the taste of those citrus fruits. Many of them are at risk of being destroyed by a disease spread by an invasive pest that's been sweeping across the citrus-producing regions of the world.

"It's horrible — it's a disaster," says Fred Gmitter, a professor of horticulture science at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center.

It might be time to kiss your OJ goodbye, unless science steps in to save the day.

At least 70% of Florida's citrus trees are already infected by the disease, known as citrus greening, huanglongbing, or occasionally just with an ominous "it," as in "It's here."

Florida's citrus crop this year is the lowest it's been in 30 years, and agricultural authorities have continued to lower their production estimates. Orange-juice prices are up nearly 20% this year alone and will continue to rise. The disease was a major factor in the lime shortage that made the price of a box of Persian limes jump from $18 to $85 last December. Prices could jump higher for oranges. Researchers and growers say that if a cure isn't found, the entire $9 billion Florida citrus industry could be destroyed.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Chlorine-Free Pool Is Biofiltered and Freaking Beautiful

Source: http://gizmodo.com/this-chlorine-free-pool-is-biofiltered-and-freaking-bea-1606791952

This Chlorine-Free Pool Is Biofiltered and Freaking Beautiful

'Tis the season for stripping down and getting wet in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the chlorine and chemicals used to keep man-made, al fresco watering holes clean can do a number on sensitive skin, which makes this Swiss pool all the more appealing; Herzog & de Meuron designed this beautiful lagoon with biofilters. Au naturel, ooh la la!

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Electricity-Eating Bacteria Are Real and More Common Than We Thought

Source: http://gizmodo.com/electricity-eating-bacteria-are-real-and-more-common-th-1606910533

In the extreme world of bacteria, stunts such as living in hot springs or without oxygen are, like, totally unimpressive. But then there are bacteria that live off electricity, feeding directly on naked electrons. Even more surprisingly, scientists are finding that these bacteria are not even that rare.

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Norway's Turning Power Plant Emissions Into Fish Oil

source: http://gizmodo.com/norways-turning-power-plant-emissions-into-fish-oil-1606184122

But there have been more creative and unusual uses. Like GreenGen in China, which sells its captured carbon to soft-drink companies. In that same spirit of making lemonade from lemons (or soda from carbon emissions), a consortium of Norwegian seafood companies wants to use captured carbon to make grow algae.

The project is centered at Mongstad, an industrial site in Norway that includes an oil refinery, a gas power plant, and a test facility for capturing and storing carbon dioxide from the aforementioned refinery and power plant. Algae, like plants, need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide captured at Monstad will be streamed through seawater to grow algae.

The project's backers say that a ton of carbon dioxide can grow a ton's worth of algae mass, which can then be fed to salmon and ultimately turned into as much as 800 pounds of oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids—what you might know as fish oil. All fish, farmed or wild, actually get their omega-3 fatty acids from eating algae.

Norway is one of the biggest producers of farmed salmon in the world, and in the past it has worried about a ready supply of omega-3-rich algae for its fish. If the plan works, it would potentially solve two problems in one fell swoop.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

​The World's Largest Indoor Farm Produces 10,000 Heads of Lettuce a Day in Japan



A former Sony Corporation semiconductor factory in Japan has been converted into the world's largest indoor farm. Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, CEO of Mirai Co., partnered with GE Japan to make his dream of a water, space and energy efficient indoor farming system a reality. Despite having only started production a year ago, the farm is already shipping out 10,000 heads of lettuce per day.




The farm is located in Miyagi Prefecture in eastern Japan, the area that was badly hit by a powerful earthquake and tsunami in 2011. At 25,000 square feet, it is nearly half the size of a football field, and 17,500 LED lights spread over 18 cultivation racks reaching 15 levels high are a key to the farm's success. The LEDs were developed for the project by GE and emit light at wavelengths optimal for plant growth, allowing Shimamura to control the night-and-day cycle and accelerate production.

Related: Philips' Large New Vertical LED-lit Urban Garden Brightens Food Security in Indianapolis

By controlling temperature, humidity and irrigation, the farm can also cut its water usage to just one percent of the amount needed by conventional outdoor farming. "What we need to do is not just setting up more days and nights. We want to achieve the best combination of photosynthesis during the day and breathing at night by controlling the lighting and the environment," says Shimamura. The systems allows the farm to grow nutrient-rich lettuce two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm. Wasted produce is also reduced from around 50 percent down to just 10 percent of the crop. This means a 100-fold increase in productivity per square foot. The LEDs also last longer than fluorescent lights and consume 40 percent less power.

Of the successful partnership, Shimamura adds, "I knew how to grow good vegetables biologically and I wanted to integrate that knowledge with hardware to make things happen." The GE Japan team is convinced that indoor farms like the one in the Miyagi Prefecture could be a key to solving world food shortages. The project partners are already working on similar indoor farms in Hong Kong and the Far East of Russia.

Photos by GE



Read more: The World's Largest Indoor Farm Produces 10,000 Heads of Lettuce a Day in Japan | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

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