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Companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae

Algae

For over a decade, companies have promised a future of renewable fuel from algae. Investors interested in moving the world away from fossil fuel have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort, and with good reason. Algae replicate quickly, requiring little more than water and sunlight to accumulate …

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Potential use of the CRISPR system to change flower colour

Japanese morning glory Ipomoea

In a world-first, Japanese scientists have used the revolutionary CRISPR, or CRISPR/Cas9, genome- editing tool to change flower colour in an ornamental plant. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba, the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Yokohama City University, Japan, altered the flower colour of the traditional Japanese …

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Photosynthesis could lead to the design of artificial solar cells

A natural process that occurs during photosynthesis could lead to the design of more efficient artificial solar cells, according to researchers at Georgia State University.¬†During photosynthesis, plants and other organisms, such as algae and cyanobacteria, convert solar energy into chemical energy that can later be used as fuel for activities. …

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Sensors that measure the electrical capacitance of leaves

Leaf sensor

Plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves show great promise for telling farmers when to activate their irrigation systems, preventing both water waste and parched plants, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Continuously monitoring plant “water stress” is particularly critical in arid …

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