Earthworms detoxify pesticides in soil at significant cost.
Earthworms that make their home in contaminated soil do so at a significant cost, according to French and Danish researchers. Results of the study, Acclimation of earthworms to chemicals in anthropogenic landscapes, physiological mechanisms and soil ecological implications, found that earthworms exposed to fungicides in conventionally farmed soil were at a stark disadvantage to worms in land managed organically. Earthworms exposed to the fungicide product Opus, containing active ingredient epoxiconazole, were able to detoxify the chemical, but gained half as much weight as worms from an organic farm, where their population was also two to three times higher. Whole shebang here.
To get a read on the metric, researchers led by Joanna Joiner of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center looked to the basics of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll in plants mainly absorbs light for conversion into energy, but the cell organs also emit a small portion of that light as a florescent glow invisible to the naked eye.
Joiner’s team realized they could measure that glow from existing satellite data. Research led by Luis Guanter at the Freie Universität Berlin then used the data to estimate the photosynthesis from agriculture. More here.
Last fall, black dust began to blow through residential neighborhoods on the southeast side of Chicago. Only it wasn’t really dust; it was a fine black residue that clung to everything it touched, including noses and throats. Residents eventually learned that it was an oil byproduct called petroleum coke — petcoke for short — and it was being stored in massive uncovered piles at facilities owned by the Koch brothers. VICE News’ Danny Gold traveled to Chicago to see what happens when clouds of toxic oil dust blow through the Windy City.
3,200 YEAR-OLD TREE SO BIG IT’S NEVER BEEN CAPTURED IN A SINGLE IMAGE UNTIL NOW
“The President” doesn’t have a nickname for just any old reason. This giant sequoia, one of the largest trees in the world, stands 75.3m tall, 8.2m wide, measures 1,274.3 cubic metres in volume, and is an estimated 3,200 years old. And it’s never been completely photographed – until a tree-climbing scientist got involved.
Behold – 32 days of work to take 126 individual photos, stitched together to create one amazing image. Michael “Nick” Nichols worked on the image for National Geographic – with the tree representing 110 generations of human life.
Created by London-based industrial design students Rodrigo García González, Pierre Paslier, and Guillaume Couche, the Ooho is a blob-like water container made out of an edible algae membrane.
The design is inspired by how liquid drops form and how egg yolks work. The container is created using a culinary technique called “spherification” and the water is held inside by a double gelatinous membrane. The gel around the water is created from brown algae and calcium chloride.
Because of the double membrane, identification labels can be placed in-between the layers without affecting the water and without the need for adhesive. The size of the sphere can also be controlled when the water is in the form of ice during the “packaging” process.
The designers envision the product as something that people can create in their own kitchens. People can modify and innovate the recipe and CIY (“Cook-It-Yourself”) the Ooho on their own.