We should breed new varieties of crops based on their root architecture rather than just focusing on the top half of the plant, according to scientists looking at how to cultivate plants that use water more efficiently and better withstand drought conditions.
Food fraud, where different or low-quality food is deliberately mislabelled and sold as high-quality goods, risks the health of consumers as well as the economic viability of producers and manufacturers. To combat this, researchers have figured out that analysing the past and present behaviour of criminal activity could predict what they might target in the future.
Since the mid-1980s, the number of bees in Europe has been in decline. Threatened by pesticides, insecticides and climate change, they are also being struck by infestations of mites and a crippling virus that deforms their wings. But new technology aims to take the sting out of the situation.
Aquaculture, or fish farming, is one of the world's fastest growing food sectors, providing about half of all the fish we eat. As it stands, climate change is altering our ocean’s environment, causing the seawater to become warmer and impacting the marine ecosystems profoundly. How will these changes affect marine species, consumers and industries that rely on them?
Sharing best practice farming techniques with farmers from different cultures and traditions could help increase the quality of our soils – a vital step in ensuring that we can grow enough food for people in the coming decades.
Rising populations and climate change are putting pressure on the water needed for agriculture but a solar-powered irrigation system may reduce the amount that farmers use – while simultaneously slashing the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists are investigating the link between gut bacteria and ageing.
Their ageing rates might teach us how to grow old gracefully, too.
We are entering a second era of lunar exploration, says ESA’s Dr David Parker.