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PlantLab

PlantLab
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Sweet Water Foundation - Sweet Water Organics - Urban Fish and Vegetable Farm - Milwaukee, WI Status: Non-Profit 501(c)(3) The Sweet Water Foundation develops intergenerational and interdisciplinary educational programming for sustainability with a focus on the potential of urban agriculture and aquaculture in the 21st century setting. Centered upon the fundamental concept of turning wastes into a community resource, we address such topics as community and economic development, health/wellness concerns, the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and environmental awareness and stewardship concerning local and global themes of food, soil, water, and energy. Our multi-faceted approach opens up discussions on the future of cities by allowing the student to think critically about the environment he or she has inherited. We prepare students to have an active stake in these processes, in a way that will allow for moments of better cultural understanding within the city, and even moments of real cultural exchange.

Tree of Life Web Project The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 World Wide Web pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms, and their evolutionary history (phylogeny). Each page contains information about a particular group, e.g., salamanders, segmented worms, phlox flowers, tyrannosaurs, euglenids, Heliconius butterflies, club fungi, or the vampire squid. ToL pages are linked one to another hierarchically, in the form of the evolutionary tree of life. Starting with the root of all Life on Earth and moving out along diverging branches to individual species, the structure of the ToL project thus illustrates the genetic connections between all living things.

Singapore's 'supertrees' spark green thoughts 18 June 2012Last updated at 12:04 ET By Saira Syed Business reporter, BBC News, Singapore Kenneth Er, chief operating officer of Gardens by the Bay and a forest ecologist, explains what the project seeks to achieve They look like they belong on another planet with their wiry canopies and greenery where the bark should be, but the man-made "supertrees" that sit against the backdrop of Singapore's central business district mimic the qualities of trees here on earth. Seven of the 18 structures are fitted with solar panels that convert sunlight into energy. They are part of an energy-efficient green space called Gardens by the Bay that has cost 1bn Singaporean dollars ($784m; £504m). "It provides a green lung for the city rather than just having high rises everywhere," says Kenneth Er, chief operating officer on the project and a forest ecologist. He hopes that people leave the garden with a sense of "how to recreate nature's balance". Emissions debate 'Disadvantaged' 'Extremely vulnerable'

Glyphosate, Monsanto's Roundup Found in People's Urine A recent study conducted by a German university found very high concentrations of Glyphosate, a carcinogenic chemical found in herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup, in all urine samples tested. The amount of glyphosate found in the urine was staggering, with each sample containing concentrations at 5 to 20-fold the limit established for drinking water. This is just one more piece of evidence that herbicides are, at the very least, being sprayed out of control. This news comes only one month after it was found that glyphosate, contained in Monsanto’s Roundup, is contaminating the groundwater in the areas in which it is used. What does this mean? Monsanto continues to make the claim that their Roundup products are completely safe for both animals and humans. A formula seems to have been made to not only ruin the agricultural system, but also compromise the health of millions of people worldwide. Note: You will need to translate the study to English via one of the many translators available.

Vertical farming: Does it really stack up? WHEN you run out of land in a crowded city, the solution is obvious: build upwards. This simple trick makes it possible to pack huge numbers of homes and offices into a limited space such as Hong Kong, Manhattan or the City of London. Mankind now faces a similar problem on a global scale. The world's population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion by 2050, according to the UN. Feeding all those people will mean increasing food production by 70%, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, through a combination of higher crop yields and an expansion of the area under cultivation. Such is the thinking behind vertical farming. Better still, says Dr Despommier, the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides can be kept to a bare minimum by growing plants indoors in a controlled environment. A wide variety of designs for vertical farms have been created by architectural firms. The necessary technology already exists. Let there be light Vertical, but only three metres tall

The Zeitgeist Movement – UK Will there be farms in New York City's skyscrapers?" By 2050, it's estimated that 80 percent of the world's people will live in urban areas (currently, 60 percent do). The population will have increased to about 9.2 billion, much of it in the developing world [Source: New York Magazine]. Many experts contend that unless drastic measures are pursued, the world could face dramatic shortage in both food and arable land. Enter vertical farming -- farming in skyscrapers several dozen stories high. The key to vertical farming is space. By converting from "horizontal farming" to vertical farming, humanity would never have to worry about running out of arable land. These farms would also be located in the urban areas where most of the Earth's population will be living. Because vertical farms would exist in the communities they serve, crop selection could be altered to fit the local community. Finally, there's what might be the most enticing benefit: land that has been used for horizontal farming could become forests again.

Discovery Could Lead to an Exercise Pill Researchers have discovered a natural hormone that acts like exercise on muscle tissue—burning calories, improving insulin processing, and perhaps boosting strength. The scientists hope it could eventually be used as a treatment for obesity, diabetes, and, potentially, neuromuscular diseases like muscular dystrophy. In a paper published online today by the journal Nature, the scientists, led by Bruce Spiegelman at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, showed that the hormone occurs naturally in both mice and humans. It pushes cells to transform from white fat—globules that serve as reservoirs for excess calories—into brown fat, which generates heat. Because the hormone is present in both mice and humans, Spiegelman speculates that it may have served as an evolutionary defense against cold by triggering shivering. Mice given irisin lost a few grams in the first 10 days after treatment, the study shows, and certain genes involved in powering the cell were turned on.

‘Plantagons’, New Vertical Farm Design, May Provide Produce for Future Cities – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views Agriculture Published on April 16th, 2011 | by Michael Ricciardi In the Developing World, the predominant trend is one of more and more people leaving rural areas and farmlands for the cities — not much different than what has happened in the the US and Europe over the past 50 years or so. It is estimated that 80% of the world’s population will live in or close to cities by 2050.* Problem: urban environments produce a lot of stuff (including pollution and garbage), but the one thing they don’t produce very much of is food. Vertical farm concepts for the urban environment are not new, but now, a Swedish-American architectural design company (Plantagon) seems to have solved once of the biggest challenges of urban vertical farming: the need for uniform, sufficient natural light to provide even growth of vertically-farmed plants. According to Plantagon, their urban greenhouse “…will dramatically change the way we produce organic and functional food. Proposed designs for vertical farms

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