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​Multi-Technology Synergy to Grow Food in the Desert

A project in Qatar is putting together a number of different systems in a complex project intended to "produce food, fresh water and viagra online pharmacy no prescription clean energy in deserts using seawater." The Sahara Forest Project uses a number of different systems where the waste by-products from one process are used as feedstock for another. It began by focusing on what was readily abundant: seawater, sun, and desert sand, and looking to what was needed: food, energy, and clean water.

"The seawater, pumped from the how to get a viagra prescription nearby Persian Gulf, is the system’s lifeblood. It’s used to cool and humidify the greenhouses. It’s also used to grow algae to produce biofuel, with the leftovers from that process going to make animal feed. Some of it is transformed into fresh water by a solar-powered desalination unit. Some of it may even be used down the road to order levitra online uk raise fish or shrimp."

The project greenhouse is fed with CO2 from a nearby fertilizer plant, which helps reduce the atmospheric emissions from the manufacturing process as well as providing an environment in which the plants thrive. Seawater is also pumped into the greenhouse to provide evaporative cooling and higher humidity.

"The project’s designers say the concept should work in any low-altitude desert area near a large source of salt water." Addressing the many needs found in these regions of the world makes this an especially compelling project.

The greatest hindrance to this project is its high cost, though the prototype is being funded by Qatar. In the long term, the lessons from this pilot project may be able to be deployed in the many areas around the world where inhospitable deserts can be brought to life.

An audio story about the visit web site levitra in uk project along with further images at provides further information about this complex, intriguing experiment.

image: screen capture from

via: The World (PRI)


​Flaws in the "Organic Food" Study

Last month there was a great deal of media attention paid to a study about organic food (Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review), which was widely cited for concluding that "[there is no] evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods." But the study is more spin than significant science.

A critique of the study in the New York Times by columnist and food writer Mark Bittman points out the weaknesses and oversimplifications in the study that have been used to "debunk" organic food based on us healthcare inc cialis criteria that are significantly immaterial to the organic label.

Bittman says of pfizer viagra on line the study, "[it] was like declaring guns no more dangerous than baseball bats when it comes to cheap quality cialis blunt-object head injuries. It was the equivalent of comparing milk and Elmer’s glue on the basis of whiteness. It did, in short, miss the point." The other half of the conclusion of the study, "Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria," was much more overlooked.

Organic food has never been about some perception of super-food with extra nutritional value, except perhaps to those who don't understand organic in the first place. But this study was so narrow in its definitiion of order prescription viagra "nutritious" (which was taken to mean "containing more vitamins") that, as Bittman points out, "you can claim that, based on nutrients, Frosted Flakes are a better choice than an apple."

The benefits of organic farming are numerous, and are far beyond relative comparison of the amount of some vitamin content. Not only are there potential individual benefits (the aforementioned reduced exposure to pesticide residue and discount cialis prescriptions so forth), but contributing to such broader environmental benefits as reduced pesticide use and more sustainable farming practices are also worthwhile goals.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Ragesoss

via: NY Times (apologies; this may be behind their paywall)


SciShow: Lab Grown Meat

At present, the only option for those who believe that killing animals to eat them is visit our site generic viagra for sale wrong is to only eat vegetables. And those who like eating meat but are concerned about the environmental consequences of animal farming also may be looking for other options.

Last week on Sci Show, Hank featured the topic of lab-grown meat as an alternative to only now use viagra raising animals and killing them for food.

Early work on making synthetic meat has produced some small samples, but it is still years from being a fully developed technology capable of producing affordable, commercially viable (inevitable pun) products. And, as Hank asks, what should it be called?


SciShow: The Dark Lord of Nutrition

US agricultural policy provides billions of dollars of subsidies to corn farmers every year, which helps to support the order usa viagra online industries that produce ethanol for fuel and corn syrup for sweetening (among many other products).

In this week's Sci Show, Hank looks at high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - the new "dark lord of nutrition" - and the controversies around its increased use as a sweetener in many of the processed foods. Some studies have indicated that HFCS may be linked to increased obesity.

But HFCS is pretty similar to "regular" cane sugar or table sugar, and other studies are less conclusive about the negative effects. Watch this episode for some further information on the ambiguities around all the claims being made about this sometimes controversial food product and the American diet.

Reference information from this episode is posted in this Google Doc.


Warmer Temperatures Will Slash Wheat Yields

Rising temperatures around the world are affecting many food crops and according to a new study done by a Stanford University scientist, wheat will be particularly vulnerable.

David Lobell looked at nine years-worth of images captured by the MODIS Earth-observation satellite to analyze the growing season of wheat in the Ganges plain of India.  What he found was that in the years with higher average temperatures, the wheat fields turned brown earlier meaning that they were no longer growing.

Previous studies have predicted that wheat yields would fall by about 30 percent by 2050 in places like India, but Lobell thinks that realistic yield losses could be about 50 percent greater than existing models show.  That's a scary figure since other studies have shown a need for wheat yields to levitra generic cheap increase by 50 percent in order to feed a growing global population.

One solution is breeding for wheat plants that have bigger roots and are less stressed by dryer and free viagra sample warmer conditions.  Another option is to breed for plants that are slower growing and can be planted earlier in the season.  That way the wheat could be harvested before the high spring temperatures while retaining its hardiness.  Scientists are already working on these solutions, but either approach will need to have a breakthrough soon to keep up with growing demand and warming temperatures.

via New Scientist

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