Related topics: women · eggs · sperm · embryos · infertility

A new way to assess male fertility

Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa. However, other characteristics of sperm, such as their ability to follow a chemical trail to the egg, can influence the likelihood ...

Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

Historically, the oceans have done much of the planet's heavy lifting when it comes to sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Microscopic organisms known collectively as phytoplankton, which grow throughout the ...

Branching out for a new green revolution

Researchers at the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered a new gene that improves the yield and fertilizer use efficiency of rice.

Making real a biotechnology dream: nitrogen-fixing cereal crops

As food demand rises due to growing and changing populations around the world, increasing crop production has been a vital target for agriculture and food systems researchers who are working to ensure there is enough food ...

Ecological fertilizer from wastewater nutrients

Wastewaters contain large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen, which are valuable nutrients. Aalto University's NPHarvest process enables recovery of these nutrients as clean ammonium sulfate and sludge containing phosphorus ...

Consider soil in fall-applied ammonia rates, study says

Fall-applied anhydrous ammonia may not fulfill as much of corn's nitrogen needs as previously assumed. According to a new study from the University of Illinois, the effectiveness of the practice depends on the soil.

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Fertilizer

Fertilizers are chemical compounds applied to promote plant and fruit growth. Fertilizers are usually applied either through the soil (for uptake by plant roots) or, by foliar feeding (for uptake through leaves).

Fertilizers can be placed into the categories of organic fertilizers (composed of decayed plant/animal matter), or inorganic fertilizers (composed of simple chemicals and minerals). Organic fertilizers are 'naturally' occurring compounds, such as peat, manufactured through natural processes (such as composting), or naturally occurring mineral deposits; inorganic fertilizers are manufactured through chemical processes (such as the Haber process), also using naturally occurring deposits, while chemically altering them (e.g. concentrated triple superphosphate).

Properly applied, organic fertilizers can improve the health and productivity of soil and plants, as they provide different essential nutrients to encourage plant growth. Organic nutrients increase the abundance of soil organisms by providing organic matter and micronutrients for organisms such as fungal mycorrhiza, which aid plants in absorbing nutrients. Chemical fertilizers may have long-term adverse impact on the organisms living in soil[citation needed] and a detrimental long term effect on soil productivity of the soil[citation needed].

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