Crops can adapt to grow in the shade

After detecting the proximity of vegetation, some plants, including most of the crops we eat, can plan for conditions of shade in their surroundings and modify their structure and growth to prosper with less light. This has ...

Fungus that eats fungus could help coffee farmers

Coffee rust is a parasitic fungus and a big problem for coffee growers around the world. A study in the birthplace of coffee—Ethiopia—shows that another fungus seems to have the capacity to supress the rust outbreaks ...

Sunfleck use research needs appropriate experimental leaves

"All the roads of learning begin in the darkness and go out into the light." This quote is often attributed to Hippocrates and exhibits a double level of relevance in photosynthesis research. The use of light by plant leaves ...

Growing the tallest is not always the best option

Plants need sunlight to feed and grow. Without light, photosynthesis, the reaction by which the plant chloroplasts convert atmospheric CO2 and water into sugars and oxygen, cannot take place. In some situations, such as in ...

From pine cones to an adaptive shading system

An adjustable shading system that adapts itself independently over the course of the day, without sensors or motors and largely maintenance-free? It really is possible: an ETH doctoral student at the Institute for Building ...

Researcher discusses the launch of the Parker Solar Probe

On Saturday, NASA launched a bold mission to fly directly into the sun's atmosphere, with a spacecraft named the Parker Solar Probe, after solar astrophysicist Eugene Parker. The incredibly resilient vessel, vaguely shaped ...

Optimum shade for cocoa

As chocolate becomes ever more popular, demand for cocoa keeps rising. For production to keep up, agricultural practices have to become more sustainable. ETH researchers tested what shade trees can contribute to solving this ...

Video: The chemistry of redheads

St. Patrick's Day evokes thoughts of all things often associated with the Irish—including red hair. Chemically speaking, what sets redheads apart from the crowd is pigmentation—specifically melanins.

Coffee: More biodiversity, better harvest

Bees, birds and bats make a huge contribution to the high yields produced by coffee farmers around Mount Kilimanjaro – an example of how biodiversity can pay off. This effect has been described as result of a study now ...

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