Bumblebees speed up flowering by piercing plants

When pollen is in short supply, bumblebees damage plant leaves in a way that accelerates flower production, as an ETH research team headed up by Consuelo De Moraes and Mark Mescher has demonstrated.

Slivers of land could power cheaper, greener nitrogen fertilizers

Nitrogen-based fertilizer contributes to the high yields expected from crops in the developed world, but its high use also damages nearby waters and ecosystems. Conversely, developing countries that most need yield improvements ...

Harnessing the moonseed plant's chemical know-how

In overgrown areas from Canada to China, a lush, woody vine with crescent-shaped seeds holds the secret to making a cancer-fighting chemical. Now, Whitehead Institute researchers in Member Jing-Ke Weng's lab have discovered ...

Water heaters' methane leaks are high, but fixable

Natural gas escapes from water heating systems through leaks and because some is not combusted by the burner. These tiny inefficiencies can add up: The resulting emissions of methane—a powerful greenhouse gas—for water ...

Returning land to nature with high-yield farming

The expansion of farmlands to meet the growing food demand of the world's ever expanding population places a heavy burden on natural ecosystems. A new IIASA study however shows that about half the land currently needed to ...

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