Plate tectonics may have been active on Earth since the very beginning

A new study suggests that plate tectonics — a scientific theory that divides the earth into large chunks of crust that move slowly over hot viscous mantle rock — could have been active from the planet’s very beginning. The new findings defy previous beliefs that tectonic plates were developed over the course of billions of … More Plate tectonics may have been active on Earth since the very beginning

Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential

Study shows how government promotes agricultural, environmental benefits — and could do more Researchers have assembled current and potential sources of government support to promote the production and use of biochar, which helps preserve valuable soil, enhance agricultural production, improve local air quality and sequester carbon dioxide. Even though every dollar spent on soil improvement … More Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential

Rice plants engineered to be better at photosynthesis make more rice

A new bioengineering approach for boosting photosynthesis in rice plants could increase grain yield by up to 27 percent, according to a new study. The approach, called GOC bypass, enriches plant cells with CO2 that would otherwise be lost through a metabolic process called photorespiration. The genetically engineered plants were greener and larger and showed … More Rice plants engineered to be better at photosynthesis make more rice

Technique identifies electricity-producing bacteria

Microbes screened with a new microfluidic process might be used in power generation or environmental cleanup Engineers have developed a microfluidic technique that can quickly process small samples of bacteria and gauge a specific property that’s highly correlated with bacteria’s ability to produce electricity. They say that this property, known as polarizability, can be used … More Technique identifies electricity-producing bacteria