Monday, March 27, 2017
Aquaponics Lab Explores Food Production for Earth And Possibly Mars.Professor Peter Merkle can envision his research, which involves networks of ecotubes full of plants, fish and fish waste, one day helping feed humans living on Mars. Aquaponics combines fish farming, known as aquaculture, with hydroponics, which involves growing plants without soil, into one integrated, mutually beneficial system.The fish waste provides an organic, nutrient-rich fertilizer for the growing plants, and the plants act as a natural filter for the water in which the fish live. Beneficial bacteria in the aquaponics system convert the ammonia from the fish waste into nitrite and then nitrate, which fertilizes the plants. Water is cycled through the system to collect the fish waste, pump it to the plant beds, and then return it to the fish tank. continue
Rabbits such as, the Netherlands dwarf, an undeniably cute and very tiny bunny that one rabbit breeding website describes as “a ball head set atop a ball body.” This and other breeds such as the Lionhead — a maned animal that looks like no wild rabbit you’ve ever seen hopping through a field — often suffer from dental problems, ear infections and overflowing tear ducts, according to three British animal welfare charities that are trying to draw attention to the medical woes of brachycephalic cats and rabbits. The growing demand for flat-faced rabbits “is disastrous,” said Richard Saunders, the head veterinarian of the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund, a British organization. Rabbits’ teeth grow continuously throughout their whole lives and must line up exactly to wear down evenly. The short face means the bottom jaw is longer than the top one … and the teeth do not line up. Teeth soon overgrow causing chronic pain, lacerated mouths, abscesses and in many cases death. continue
Researchers have successfully used spinach leaves to build functioning human heart tissue, complete with veins that can transport blood. To tackle a chronic shortage of donor organs, scientists have been working on growing various tissues and even whole organs in the lab. But culturing a bunch of cells is only part of the solution - they simply won't thrive without a constant blood supply. It's notoriously difficult to build a working network of fine blood vessels (also called vasculature), especially when you get down to capillaries, which are only 5 to 10 micrometres wide. Blood vessels transport the oxygen and nutrients that a lab-grown tissue sample needs to grow and function. Now a team led by scientists from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have successfully turned a spinach leaf into living heart tissue by using the tiny network of veins you'd already find in a plant.continue
Plastics have found several uses in poultry see but another farmer has created brooders from can. The innovation is cheap,durable and effective, Cornelius Obonyo, a poultry farmer, uses the jerrycans to make plastic brooders. Obonyo not only has enough brooders for his poultry, but also makes money by selling them to his neighbors. He sells a brooder with a capacity for 50 chicks at Sh5,000. This takes him a week and four 20-litre and five 10-litre jerrycans to make. He says people love his brooders because they do not rust, are poor conductors of heat and are easy to wash. Continue
27-year old Cameroonian industrial engineer, Flavien Kouatcha has produced an innovative aquaponics kit to promote urban agriculture. The innovation involves the use of what he created and named “Aquaponic Kits” which facilitate “the use of vertical and urban agriculture to produce chemical-free agricultural products with the use of fish excrement. The process involves the use of greenhouse and in-house facilities to produce the equivalent of half hectare of harvest. The main products which have been successfully grown using this mechanism include, pepper, parsley, celeries and tomatoes. They plan to try other crops in the near futures. The Aquaponic kit facilitate the growth of plants with the use of fish waste as organic fertilizer. continue
Leaders from Brazil and EU to tackle meat 'crisis': European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis is in Brazil on a three-day mission to ensure imported food is safe for consumption, following claims Brazilian meat processors bribed government officials and sold rotten meat.