As tenacious and pervasive as the coronavirus at the root of our long-running pandemic appears to be, SARS-CoV-2 has not only a host of strengths aiding its spread, but it also hides numerous vulnerabilities that could be exploited to help contain and defeat the deadly pathogen. Aside from lasting
A slowly growing field of biological research is uncovering evidence that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is steadily decreasing the concentration of nutrients in our food supply. Plants metabolize CO2 in the same way we metabolize oxygen, and increases in CO2 levels have proven to boost plant growth, but that increased growth causes the affected plants to pack on more carbohydrates at the cost of taking on nutrients such as vitamins and minerals — effectively turning crops we consider to be healthy dietary choices into junk food.
Amongst the many problems that our species is expected to face as time goes on, one of the bigger ones is how to feed a burgeoning population in the face of potential famine and transportation interruption. Many novel concepts have been explored, including growing animal-less meat in a vat, but a new idea, using cockroach milk to nourish the hungry, has been put forward by the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in India.
While we’re well aware of the ongoing plight of honeybees that are facing colony collapse disorder, and the potential impact on crops that depend on our little apian allies for pollination, it’s important to remember that there are a large number of plant species that we use for food that rely on species other than bees, both invertebrate and vertebrate. Toward that end, a new study, commissioned by the United Nations, has been released, warning that a shocking number of these alternate pollinators are at risk of extinction.