Category Archives: Plants & Technology

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Bananas Can Identify Contaminated Water

The findings offer a new source of hope to people in developing countries, where water quality can be poor and the latest water-screening technologies hard to come by.

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Your Next Hard Drive Could Be Bacterial

A group of students at Hong Kong's Chinese University have developed a way to store complex information in bacteria

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What Rice Has Joined Together Let Not Man…

An analysis of mortar from the 600-year-old city wall in Nanjing confirmed its mortar is a mix of powdered limestone and sticky-rice soup.

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Let Slime Mold Design The Railroad

Physarum polycephalum had not simply created the shortest possible network that could connect all the cities, but had also included redundant connections that allow the creature (and the real rail network) to have resilience to the accidental breakage of any part of it.

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Why Not Grow A Building?

Engineers and plant scientists… have taken their leafy designs to the next, and more practical and playful, level. Pilot projects under way… include streetlamps, gates and playground structures made entirely from trees, as well as hospital park benches that grow their own foliage for shade.

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Rosemary Replacing Fossil Fuels

The humble rosemary plant could revolutionise the way that some oil-based products are made, providing a green alternative to the synthetics and fossil fuels presently used. Research scientists (explore) the feasibility of using the environmentally friendly antioxidants (AO) extracted from rosemary plants for the production of cosmetics, plastics and lubricants.

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Biofuel That Doesn’t Compete With Food Crops

China is the world's largest producer of rice, a crop that leaves behind roughly 230 million tons of rice straw each year — the stem and leaves are left behind after harvesting the grains… All that biological matter, or biomass, could in theory get converted into biofuel with the aid of germs that break it down into useful chemicals

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What Have You Done For Me Lately? Biofuels, Medicines, Bioplastics, Flavors, Pigments — Plants Deliver

he Plant Journal is pleased to present a series of invited peer-reviewed articles that describe processes that plants can or could use to convert their fixed carbon into fuels and other useful products. The articles were commissioned to provide an authoritative scientific backdrop to inform discussion in debates on finding alternative and reliable sources of carbon.

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How Green IS your green roof?

Stephan Brenneisen, a Swiss green roof specialist and ecologist, claims that many of the thin substrates on sedum roofs lose their effectiveness over time… [he] also found that many sedum roofs have minimal positive effects on storm water retention, energy use, or the urban climate — core arguments that have been used to justify the implementation of green roofs. Moreover, ecologists attribute rather limited biodiversity values to sedum roofs and prefer roofs that offer a secondary ha