Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

By studying the DNA of people who lived in East Asia thousands of years ago, scientists are starting to untangle how the region was populated.

Melinda A. Yang, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Richmond • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: ancient-dna hunter-gatherers china agriculture archaeology genes genomics southeast-asia rice adna siberia paleoanthropology human-migration east-asia hunter-gatherer start-of-agriculture paleogenomics

Gene editing to produce 'super dad' livestock

Modified animals could improve sustainable meat production, but safety and ethical issues remain.

By Helen Briggs • bbcnews
Sept. 14, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: genetics agriculture genetic-engineering

How to reverse global wildlife declines by 2050

Wildlife populations have plummeted by 68% since 1970. But we have a plan to turn things around.

Piero Visconti, Research Scholar, Ecosystem Services and Management Programme, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) • conversation
Sept. 14, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: conservation biodiversity agriculture wildlife ecosystem-services ecosystems biodiversity-loss sixth-mass-extinction food-systems

The fourth agricultural revolution is coming – but who will really benefit?

AI, robots and other technologies could transform farming – for worse as well as for better.

Charlotte-Anne Chivers, Research Assistant, Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire • conversation
Sept. 14, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: artificial-intelligence agriculture robots farming

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead bodies, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead people, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

When plants and their microbes are not in sync, the results can be disastrous

Just as humans can suffer from an imbalance of microbes in their gut, plants can suffer a similar syndrome in their leaves. This finding opens up new possibilities for improving food security.

Sheng-Yang He, University Distinguished Professor, HHMI Investigator, Michigan State University • conversation
Aug. 28, 2020 ~8 min

Tags:  agriculture  plants  microbiome  ecosystem  crops  microbiota  arabidopsis

Amazon fires trap farmers into poverty – and into setting more fires

Fires that burn the forest burn crops and pastures alike. But farmers in the eastern Amazon are left with few good options.

Rachael Garrett, Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich • conversation
Aug. 17, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: climate-change agriculture brazil farming amazon-fires wildfires forest-fires fire-risk

Cold War spy satellite captures threat to marmots

When an American pilot went down over the Soviet Union in the 1960s, the US launched a spy satellite. Its data now helps monitor the bobak marmot.

Ida Eriksen-U. Copenhagen • futurity
Aug. 6, 2020 ~4 min

Tags: conservation agriculture rodents ecosystems satellites earth-and-environment

The pandemic may change what we eat

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted food supply chains and raised awareness of how food production harms the planet, an expert says.

Pat Harriman-UC Irvine • futurity
July 30, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: covid-19 agriculture food earth-and-environment health-and-medicine

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