Bioengineered Cotton Could Help Solve World Hunger

Humans have relied on cotton’s textile fiber for nearly seven millennia. However, utilizing cottonseed as food has been a long and unfulfilled goal of many plant breeders. Along with its abundant, high-quality protein, cottonseed also contains gossypol – a toxic chemical that renders the seed inedible. Cottonseed’s fate as a mostly unusable by-product seemed sealed …

How to Save and Revive Dying Trees

Just like other living organisms, trees can get sick and die of disease if they’re not cared for properly. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to relieve the stress your trees are experiencing and protect their long-term health. Injured trees exist on a spectrum from stressed to dying. Unfortunately, once your tree is dying, …

Why do leaves change color in the fall?

Plants are green because their cells contain chlorophyll (a green pigment, see notes 1) inside little structures called chloroplasts. Chlorophyll is green because it absorbs other wavelengths of light, but reflects the wavelength that we see as green. That’s why most plants are green, including trees and grass. Those wavelengths that the chlorophyll is absorbing? …

Creating Power Foods with Gene Technology

At least 820 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition globally and human population growth is likely to exacerbate this problem in the future. It is becoming increasingly important to develop sustainable and efficient methods to meet food demands. To address this global issue, Dr. Sanju A. Sanjaya and Bagyalakshmi Muthan from West Virginia State …

Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature?

The destruction of tropical forests is a major contributor to biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. In response, conservationists and scientists like us are debating how to best catalyze the recovery of these forests. How do you take a patch of earth littered with tree stumps, or even a grassy pasture or palm oil plantation, …

If we lose the Amazon rainforest, the consequences would be disastrous

There are big wildfires in the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Rainforests are the oldest living ecosystems and without a shadow of a doubt, the most vital habitats on Earth (Amazon rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years). The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and comprises …

UN report warns one million species at risk of extinction

We, humans, are destroying the Earth’s wilderness, very fast. Actually, we are the main (and probably the only) cause of the sixth major extinction event in the history of our planet. Now, a recent UN report says at least one million species (animals, plants, and insects) are at the risk of extinction. There will be …