Salmon like the dark side

Salmon living in tanks with darker backgrounds are typically less aggressive than those living in a lighter coloured environment, according to new research. The researchers divided 100 Coho Salmon into 10 different tanks, each with different colour patterns, and monitored their behaviour. They found that the salmon prefered the darker areas, and were less aggressive […]

Underestimating global fisheries catches

  Researchers have been substantially underestimating the total global fisheries’ catches by as much as 50 per cent, according to a new study. The results are based on “catch-reconstruction”, using scientific literature and asking local experts to help provide missing data. The researchers found increases in catches every year from 1950 to 1996, at which […]

Ancient farming bee-haviour

Researchers have found evidence that humans have been gathering bee products, such as honey and honeycomb, for at least 9,000 years. The researchers examined residues preserved on thousands of pottery vessels from across Europe, North Africa, and Asia. The earliest evidence was found in pots from Neolithic sites in Anatolia, where Europe and Asia join, […]

Farming fungus: A new bee-haviour

An accident in the lab has lead to the discovery that a specific species of bee, native to Brazil, farms fungus for their larvae to eat. This finding raises concerns about the use of fungicides in agriculture. Researchers made the discovery while attempting to breed queen bees, but found white fungus growing out of control, […]

How a wine gets it’s unique flavour

The terroir of a wine, or the flavour that arises from the environment in which it’s produced, is affected by the types of microbe in the vineyard and the yeasts used during the fermentation process according to a new study. Using six genetically different populations of a microbe, S. cerevisiae, from six wine growing regions, […]

Synthetic nutrients and GMOs

Researchers have developed genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that depend on synthetic nutrients to survive. Two teams, one from Yale University and another from Harvard, tweaked the genetic code of modified bacteria whose growth is restricted by the expression of multiple essential genes that depend on synthetic amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. When the […]

Defending durum wheat against Fusarium Head Blight

Researchers may have found the key to protecting durum wheat from Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), which leaves it unsuitable for human consumption or livestock feed. Common wheat has been bred to develop a resistance to this fungal disease, however durum wheat, which is used to create pastas, has no defence against it. Researchers analyzed two […]

Fighting malnutrition with ‘stronger’ chickpeas

Researchers have determined which genetic variations influence the iron and zinc concentrations in chickpea seeds, a finding that could help fight malnutrition in developing countries. The study examined 94 varieties of chickpea and found eight genetic variations – known as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs – that are associated with the iron and zinc concentration. Breeding […]

Towards carbon neutral wheat production

Improved practices in the farming of wheat could lead to a significant reduction in its carbon footprint according to a new study. With the changes suggested by the researchers, the carbon footprint of wheat could potentially be lowered to the extent that it removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than is emitted during production. The […]

How to reduce damage from unregulated fisheries

Canadians are used to the idea that governments regulate fisheries, but around the world more than 100 million people – 90 per cent of the worlds’ fishers – operate in small-scale fisheries with no records or controls. In a Policy Forum article, the authors recommend methods to reduce the damage that illegal, unregulated and unreported […]

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