Of all the intensively-farmed creatures, battery hens probably have the worst deal when it comes to quality of life, but science may have provided a technological answer to provide an enhanced quality of life for these birds.

Public concern has prompted a slow trend towards more "free range" farming, but for millions of hapless birds, life still consists of a cage which offers approximately 750 cm² of space; 600 cm² of which is "usable area" and the other 150 cm² is utilised for a nest-box.

Farmers in developing countries are dying in their thousands from a mysterious kidney disorder, which has been termed as "Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology" (CKDu).

The disease is running rife through farmers from the rice paddy regions of Sri Lanka, and in El Salavdor, it is the second leading cause of death among male adults, posing a greater risk to health there than diabetes, AIDS, and leukemia combined. A new study has now linked the unexplained deaths to the use of a herbicide patented by the giant biochemical company, Monsanto.

We know people can do it, but can PLANTS do it? This is necessary to know if we want to eventually create living space environments, in which people can spend the many years it might take to travel to distant stars and planets.

Researchers have found that changes in gravity affect the reproductive process in plants. Gravity modulates traffic on the intracellular "highways" that ensure the growth and functionality of the male reproductive organ in plants, the pollen tube.