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From mushrooms, cheese, and bread to beer, wine, and sake, fungi play an important role in the foods we eat, whether we know it or not. These incredible organisms and their products can be great food sources that are packed with protein. Most people are already familiar with mushroom species with fruiting bodies such…

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Bees are important pollinators for plants not only in our home gardens, but in productive agricultural fields and natural environments around the world. If you’ve heard the phrase, ‘Save the Bees!’ at some point, it’s because some bee populations are currently on the decline from threats such as parasites,…

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Have you ever spent extra time at the store trying to decide which sunscreen to purchase? We try to protect ourselves from the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to minimize the risks of contracting skin cancer or photoaging (changes to skin caused by UV exposure), yet never think twice about the effects of these products…

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Imagine a kitchen in a busy household — dirty dishes piled in the sink, leftovers cold on the counter, and utensils strewn about. It’s hard to cook dinner in this situation. In a shared space like a kitchen, it is everyone’s responsibility to keep it clean. And when it is everyone’s…

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Researchers in Germany and Switzerland used next generation sequencing to study an active aquaponics system. They sampled a biofilm from the side of the tank, the fish excrement, the plant roots, and the inside of the tank filter, called a biofilter.

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Animals are unable to tell us why they do the things they do, and curious scientists often want to find out. They set up experiments to see how animals behave in certain situations and try to determine the motivations for the behavior. The behavior often gives the animal a survival edge, as is the case for this study…

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Nitrogen pollution is a big problem in standing water such as lakes and ponds. The nitrogen comes from many sources, often agricultural fertilizers. Some of this nitrogen is in the water, but the rest of it is actually trapped in the sediment at the bottom of the lake. You can see evidence of this pollution when a…

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Plants have five basic needs – food, water, air, light, and space. Outdoors, plants get everything they need from nature and some human intervention. However, when growing plants indoors, these five basic needs have to be provided artificially. Why would we want to grow plants indoors? The biggest reason is to be…

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A group of agricultural researchers at West Virginia University wanted to find out if it was possible to grow lettuce year round using high tunnel aquaponics instead of traditional greenhouse methods. Aquaponics is a term that combines “aquaculture,” the practice of farming fish as livestock in managed bodies of…