No more clear blue skies: the pink glow emitted by thousands of LED lights is the new ideal – and only – weather forecast in modern farming. Leafy greens grow in layers, stacked up like a vegetable lasagna in a climate-controlled warehouse that climbs tens of meters high. There is no soil for the plants to dig their roots into, nor is there a window for sunlight to seep through. The pink glow – the result of combining red and blue LED lights – provides the plants with optimum light while maintaining a low carbon footprint. The plants gather food from a nutrient-dense mist while photosynthesizing at peak capacity. The details of this futuristic picture illustrate the realities of vertical farming.
Cells face a perplexing challenge: Squeezing in two meters of DNA inside a nucleus a fraction of a millimetre wide. The cell achieves this by tightly wrapping DNA into structures known as chromosomes. The way chromosomes are localised within the nucleus can have implications for gene expression and is thus an area that is extensively researched. Two new studies, recently published in Nature by Stevens et al. (2017) and Beagrie et al. (2017), have elucidated the arrangement of chromosomes within the nucleus and their three-dimensional interactions.
Penny Kuhn is the managing editor of Endangered Species Research, a journal based out of Germany. She works remotely and lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We asked her some questions about life in the science communication world.
Humans have a unique capacity for higher order cognition such as planning and multitasking. These abilities are collectively referred to as executive functions. This study investigates cognitive set-shifting, a type of executive function that involves shifting from one task to another. Advances in neuroimaging have allowed for the structural integrity of specific frontal lobe subregions to be probed with greater resolution. One such measure is the intensity contrast between cortical gray and white matter, with greater contrast indicating better development.
Seasonal floodplain wetlands occur throughout the Piedmont Region of South Carolina, providing a plethora of ecosystem services. As a result of extensive soil erosion during the agricultural period from mid-1700s until mid-1900s, Piedmont floodplains have accreted significantly, altering their natural flood regime. The purpose of this study was to better understand the impacts of land use change and seasonality on the hydrology of two adjacent, seasonal floodplain wetlands.