Advertisement

Plants

Researchers have used data collected by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO) to uncover chemical variation in plant life across the lowland Peruvian Amazon. Quite apart from giving rise to some of the most stunning scientific imagery we've seen of the region, the study provides key information for understanding the rainforest, and assessing our future impact on it.

Read More

Many of us like to have houseplants in our homes, bringing a little of the outside inside. The problem is remembering to water them on a regular basis. Tableau is a new take on an automatic watering system for houseplants that aims to make it easy to avoid either over- or under watering these fussy lodgers.

Read More
Owning an aquarium can be quite enjoyable, but it comes with plenty of headaches. There's a lot of maintenance that's a part of owning one – maintenance that Aqua Design Innovations aims to get rid of with the introduction of its EcoQube C fish tank. Read More
Trees may be a renewable resource, but the rate of this renewal may not meet the increasing demand for plant biomass. But now researchers at the University of Manchester have potentially found a way to boost tree stocks by using gene manipulation to increase the size and growth rate of trees. Read More
Nature has done a pretty great job of making flowers all colorful and lovely to look at. Have you ever thought, though, that they might look even better even they changed color? That's what plant biotech firm Revolution Biotechnology (RevBio) thought, so it's modified plants to do exactly that. Read More

When the sap from plants such as sugar cane is extracted for commercial use, what's left over is a fibrous material known as bagasse. This is commonly used as biofuel, or is compressed into a wood substitute. Now, Mexican startup Plastinova is using agave bagasse from the tequila industry to make a wood-like material of its own, although it's also incorporating recycled plastic. Read More

The olfactory experience that accompanies a real Christmas tree comes at the cost of a floor covered in pine needles as the tree inevitably loses its grip on life. Now a group of Australian schoolgirls has discovered an easy way to prolong the life of the tinsel- and ornament-covered tree. Read More

The sporty Mazda Miata may not be at the top of many "green car" lists, but the 2016 model will nonetheless be the first vehicle to incorporate parts made from a new bioplastic developed by the automaker. The plastic is based on plant-derived materials instead of petroleum, and doesn't need to be painted. Read More
Magic Dirt may sound like the soil used by Jack to grow his beans, but the Bioproduct Innovation of the Year award winner is just one result of a process that’s addressing the environmental issues caused by effluence from factory farm feedlots. The process starts with anaerobic digesters, specifically a patented two-stage model from Wisconsin-based DVO, which more efficiently converts manure into three valuable byproducts. Read More
The animal kingdom contains many examples of efficient forms of locomotion, so it's no wonder that we've been seeing a lot of animal-inspired robots – recent examples have included a robotic cheetah, fish and snake. Plants, however, just sit there ... don't they? Actually, they do move, just not necessarily in a Point A to Point B manner. With that in mind, Europe's PLANTOID project consortium is now in the process of developing a tree-like robot. Its descendants might ultimately find use in the exploration of other planets. Read More
Advertisement