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Plants

A class of Australian schoolgirls have discovered an easy way to keep Christmas trees gree...

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

Mazda's 2016 MX-5 Miata

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 premium potting soil and Bioproduct Innovation of the Year award winner

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 PLANTOID robot, with its 'trunk' and sensor/leaf-bearing branches

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

The super bananas are yellow on the outside (like the regular bananas seen here), but thei...

According to the Queensland University of Technology's Prof. James Dale, 650,000 to 700,000 children die worldwide every year due to pro-vitamin A deficiency. Many of those children live in East African nations such as Uganda. Dale's proposed solution? Take something that's already grown and eaten there, and genetically modify it to produce the needed vitamin. That's what he's done with the Highland cooking banana. The resulting "super bananas" are about to be the subject of human nutritional trials in the US.  Read More

Click and Grow's Smart Herb Garden aims to help people grow herbs at home with a minimum o...

It's rare that reviewing a device takes six weeks, but then, we don't usually have to wait for nature to let us actually write the review. Click and Grow's Smart Herb garden was released earlier this year. It aims to help users grow perfect herbs with a minimum of effort.  Read More

The new technique could allow corn to be grown in caves or on space colonies (Photo:  Ashl...

Scientists at Purdue University have come up with a way of growing corn in caves, but it doesn't involve some bizarre mating of maize and mushroom. Instead, they manipulated artificial light and temperature in such a way that the growth of the corn plants, while stunted, didn't significantly affect the seed yield. The finding could have a significant impact on the future of genetically modified crops by helping prevent genetically modified pollen escaping into the ecosystem.  Read More

Green Over Grey says it has created the world's largest interior living wall

A design firm has created what it says is the tallest indoor vertical garden in the world. Green Over Grey installed the living wall at the Desjardins building in Lévis, Quebec. Called "The Currents," the installation is inspired by views of the St. Lawrence River visible from Quebec City and Lévis.  Read More

The SCiO Pocket Molecular Sensor

Wondering how nutritious that food is, if that plant needs water, or just what that misplaced pill is? Well, the makers of SCiO claim that their device is able to tell you all of those things, plus a lot more. To use it, you just scan the item in question for one or two seconds, then check the readout on a Bluetooth 4.0-linked smartphone.  Read More

A growing tray in the Vegetable Production System (Veggie) that is headed to the ISS (Phot...

The International Space Station (ISS) may be a remarkable piece of engineering, but it’s so drab that it needs a window box to brighten things up. That isn't possible in the vacuum of space, but NASA is doing the next best thing on Monday as it sends its Vegetable Production System (Veggie) to the space station aboard the SpaceX Dragon CRS-3 mission. However, this plant-growing chamber will be more than a horticultural experiment, it's also a bit more culinary as it lets astronauts put fresh salad on the menu.  Read More

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