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Soil News

Using microbes to measure ecological health

There are different measures of the state of an environment, such as toxins in soil or gasses in air. One measure, that can be qualified, is the microbial population since living entities directly signal the ‘health’ of a given locale.

Lower fertilizer applications with the help of fungi

With concerns about the use of chemical fertilizers being discussed in both the U.S. and Europe, news that fungi might present an alternative means for improving crop yields has been welcomed by scientists and policy makers.

Tracking the path of water via lasers

When it rains, where does the rain water go? Most of it is absorbed into soil. Then what? Researchers have used sophisticated laser technology to track the path of water and the results are more important than you might expect.

Lithium battery component poses environmental risk

A component from lithium batteries — used to power laptops and smartphones — has been found to affect the ecosystem by inhibiting a beneficial bacterium that process toxins.

Forensic microbes work out time of death

Working out the time of death is important for forensics. By looking at bacteria and fungi living in the soil beneath a decomposing body reveals the time, and even the place, of of death.

Poor state of the world’s soils revealed

Soils are essential for the world’s food system. Soil regulates water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. However, the state of many soils in the world is poor and action is needed as part of strategies to boost food production.

Southern pines in U.S. doing better than expected

Atlanta - In the U.S., Southern tree farmers have been worried about a spate of unexpected pine tree deaths. University researchers have concluded that the rate of decline will slowdown and that farmers have little to worry about.

Soil microbes influence grape and wine quality

Researchers have studied the microbial composition of a wine grapevine. The examination unearthed the fact that the microbes found in grapes, on leaves and flowers are derived from the microbes found in the plant's roots.

Climate change affects the soil ecosystem

Researchers looking at the impact of climate change have begun to study the ecosystems of the soil. This is by studying variations to the microbial composition over time.

Soil microbes can help tackle climate change

Researchers have developed a new climate change modeling tool. The tool shows that carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, as result of greater plant growth can be offset by changes in the activity of soil microbes.

Are soil microbes linked to climate change?

Without knowing how microbes in the soil contribute to atmospheric carbon, researchers are unclear how microbes impact on climate change. This conundrum has lead to a series of recent studies.

Soil microbes affect carbon levels

The life-cycle of soil microbes in warmer temperatures appears to affect soil carbon storage. The slower the rate of growth, the more carbon that is released into the atmosphere. A new study suggests that a change is taking place.

Digging in the dirt: Citizen Scientists hunt for new medicines

Microbes are a rich source of medicines and it is thought that many life-saving compounds are still awaiting discovery. To help trace possible candidates, citizen scientists have been called on to help.

Biodiversity loss can lead to toxin build up in soil

A new study suggests that a moderate loss of less than 5 percent of soil microbes may compromise some key ecosystem functions and could lead to lower degradation of toxins in the environment.

Atmospheric carbon is mostly to do with the soil

As an alternative to more established theories of global warming relating to levels of atmospheric carbon, a new research area considers that carbon levels in the atmosphere are most affected by the composition of the soil.

Bacteria help fruit trees to grow

Scientists have used different strains of fungi and bacteria to promote development and health in trees, which have enabled them to accelerate growth of different species up to 40 percent.

Crop rotation and the role of microorganisms

Crop rotation has been used since ancient times to improve plant nutrition and to limit the spread of disease. A new study reveals this relates to enriching the soil with bacteria, fungi and protozoa.

Eat The Big Apple — Literally Special

New York - New York City is one of the most densely populated places in the world, but it also has a vibrant food production scene. Author Robin Shulman profiles it, and the people behind it, in her new book.

Microbes provide clues for predicting climate change

Chicago - A detailed project by a group of scientists to map the genome of all the microorganisms on the planet will be unveiled in Chicago this October. The research will offer clues as to how climate change affects the ecology of soil.

Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown puts forest industry near collapse

Tokyo - High levels of radiation, planned evacuations and no-entry zones as a result of the meltdown at Fukushima’s Daiichi nuclear facility have combined to place the prefecture’s forest industry in danger of collapse.

Radiation in Fukushima parks, schoolyards limits playtime

Fukushima schools limit outdoor recess time and city implements a one-hour time limit on playground use due to radiation threat to children. Soil removed from school grounds has no place to go.

The organic food scene in Halifax, Nova Scotia Special

Halifax - "Good food - Good for you - Good for the earth." That is the motto at Planet Organic, a Canadian store that supplies organic food and household supplies.

Is soil safe at local 'dump' in Ontario? Special

A company dumping landfill in a small Ontario township is accused of operating without providing logs or testing to show that their fill is within regulations of safe fill.

Hydro One Involved In Local Oil Spill Special

Dryden - Ontario's crown corporation, Hydro One, is involved in an ongoing dispute over a substantial oil spill and contamination in their fleet parking lot.

Op-Ed: 'Beggars' opt to reject soil donated by owner of pot dispensary

Beggars can’t be choosers is an old expression, but sometime the reason to turn down a donation that had been solicited can be found to be rather silly.

Soil studies reveal rise in antibiotic resistance

A study by Newcastle University scientists has found antibiotic resistance in the natural environment is rising despite.

Op-Ed: Soil Bacteria May Fight Depression

Researchers have found evidence that “friendly” bacteria found in soil may activate the immune system, produce the brain compound serotonin, and help ward off depression.

Global Warming Changing Organic Matter in Soil

Scientists at the University of Toronto Scarborough have published research findings that show global warming actually changes the molecular structure of organic matter in soil.

Mars Dirt is Like the Soil in Your Backyard

Mars has a salty taste according to the Phoenix lander's first soil tasting. Soil near the north pole of Mars shows that the dirt is similar to what can be found in the average backyard here on Earth.

First Nanoscale Image of Soil Reveals an 'incredible' Variety

Cornell researchers have for the first time been able to take a nanoscale look at soil, at a scale of 50 nanometers (1 nanometer equals the width of three silicon atoms)
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Athabasca River near Fort McMurray  Alberta.
Athabasca River near Fort McMurray, Alberta.
David Dodge, The Pembina Institute
13471 Lakeridge Road
13471 Lakeridge Road
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 Farmacology - What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing   By Daphne Mill...
"Farmacology - What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing," By Daphne Miller, M.D.
Sign next to map in a Fukushima City park expresses apologies from city for declaring one-hour park-...
Sign next to map in a Fukushima City park expresses apologies from city for declaring one-hour park-usage time limit due to radiation level on soil and equipment.
Shin-Kenji

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