Applications of artificial photosynthesis

By Lubova Dziojeva The concept of artificial photosynthesis was introduced more than a century ago by Giacomo Ciamician in a Science paper titled the “The photochemistry of the future” (Ciamician, 1912). He insisted on the importance of developing technologies that would move humanity away from the complete dependence on fossil fuels. Technologies that use sustainableContinue reading “Applications of artificial photosynthesis”

Quality Over Quantity: the Overlooked Consequence of Climate Change on Food

By Ellie Fung  When it comes to the relationship between climate change and food, many would cite the heightened risk of crop failure and starvation as a result of intensified natural disaster, extreme weather and pest infestation events. Decreased crop yield is understandably a major concern and cause for carbon reduction efforts, but it oftenContinue reading “Quality Over Quantity: the Overlooked Consequence of Climate Change on Food”

Pesticides – The Real Pests.

By Ceara Harper Pesticides are defined as a substance to eliminate or control pests which cause harm or interfere with the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of food, animal feedstuff, wood or agricultural commodities (Pesticides Act 2002). Pests include rodents, insects, bacteria, fungi, plants and larvae; which, for example, could reduce crop yields orContinue reading “Pesticides – The Real Pests.”

Shilajit: Neuroprotective Powers of a Legendary Folk Remedy

By Cristina Piñel Neparidze Approximately 50 million years ago, when the Indian subcontinent collided with the Eurasian plate and created the lofty Himalayas, fossilised forests gradually materialised a nutrient and mineral-rich biomass loaded with remarkable medicinal properties.  During the summers, when the mountain range increased its temperatures, this substance was timidly excreted from the crevassesContinue reading “Shilajit: Neuroprotective Powers of a Legendary Folk Remedy”

Darwin’s Abominable Mystery

By Jia Hua Wang With over 300,000 extant species, flowering plants, or angiosperms, form ca. 90% of all terrestrial vegetation, making them the most ecologically diverse and abundant land plants (Soltis & Soltis, 2014). Apart from taigas and temperate rainforests, angiosperms dominate nearly all terrestrial ecosystems and have representatives in many aquatic environments (Feild &Continue reading “Darwin’s Abominable Mystery”

The Rise and Fall of Cavendish Bananas

By Cristina Vuolo The re-emergence of a Fusarium Wilt is threatening the banana industry once again, as a new strain overcomes the resistance of the cultivar that saved this billion-dollar industry from collapse just over half a century ago (Pérez-Vicente, Dita & Einar, 2014). During the mid-20th century, the commercial industry was dominated by theContinue reading “The Rise and Fall of Cavendish Bananas”

Why Plants are Bad at Their Job

By Heiloi Yip There is no question that photosynthesis has played a monumental role in the evolution of life as we know it. From single-celled cyanobacteria to 100-metre-tall redwoods, there are a vast diversity of photosynthetic organisms that convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to the oxygen that we and other organisms require toContinue reading “Why Plants are Bad at Their Job”

The future of coffee in a changing climate

By Rachel Chan Coffee is the world’s favourite beverage. From the 2.25 billion cups of coffee consumed everyday to the 100 million people whose livelihoods depend on it (Davis et al., 2019), coffee has found its way into many of our lives. Unfortunately, there remain a multitude of threats to the coffee sector; these areContinue reading “The future of coffee in a changing climate”

Lawns: harmless aesthetic or monocultural wastelands?

By Anna Miteniece Quaint two-story house, white picket fence and a sprawling, freshly mown lawn… all familiar symbols of chaste success and The American Dream that have been dominating our cultural landscape almost as pervasively as various turfgrass species have been dominating the modern urban landscape. The contemporary obsession with cultivating monocultural gardens began inContinue reading “Lawns: harmless aesthetic or monocultural wastelands?”

Lessons learnt from resurrection plants – food security and drought tolerance

By Cristina Vuolo Water scarcity is one of the greatest threats to agriculture, and its impact on global food security is severely exacerbated by our changing climate (Farrant, 2020). Food security exists when everyone has access to enough safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary requirements in a way that can be sustained intoContinue reading “Lessons learnt from resurrection plants – food security and drought tolerance”