Tag Archives: research

Cultivating uncertainty through science reporting

art
Image: Mike Gifford, Flickr.

By Marie Orttenburger

SACRAMENTO – Science is integral to environmental reporting, but it’s also a source of the field’s biggest dilemmas.

Science reporters often find themselves crafting imperfect metaphors, navigating complex findings, trying not to overwhelm the reader with data. And they’re doing all of that while struggling to understand the science themselves.

The “EJ Reporting: Don’t Forget the Science” panel at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s recent 26th annual conference tackled this challenge. The discussion, featuring science reporters Sarah Zielinski, Dan Fagin, Janet Raloff and Christopher Joyce, opened with some reassurance. Continue reading Cultivating uncertainty through science reporting

Advertisements

Researchers try to speed wheat development

Sarah

Wheat is the second most widely grown cereal grain in the world. But wheat farmers could be even more productive if new varieties better withstand pests, disease, heat and drought.  These varieties still need to taste good and work well for cooking and baking.

Sarah Battenfield, a post-doctoral researcher at Kansas State University, develops high-quality wheat with “genomic selection,” a process that could speed the development of new varieties.

Listen to the podcast here.

Photo: Sarah Battenfield

Energy from animal poop

 

Taisha5Taisha Venort

They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure…but what about one farmer’s animal’s…poop! Could we turn that into a renewable energy source? Could we turn something so dirty…and smelly into clean energy used to feed people?

Biogas research and technology does just that. By turning animal manure into clean, renewable energy, researchers working in rural Kenya are helping farmers improve their quality of life.

Taisha Venort is a masters student in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She is here today to talk about finding energy in unique places.

Listen to the podcast here.

Using bitter melon to treat diabetes

Untitled

A bitter-tasting plant that looks like a cucumber with warts growing all over it might help treat the symptoms of diabetes. The bitter melon, or bitter gourd, is popularly used to treat diabetes in many countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

According to World Health Organization, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were caused by diabetes in 2012.

The cost of treating diabetes can add up over a lifetime, and fruits and vegetables with medicinal properties could be treatment options in low-and-middle income countries with poor access to health care.

Jose Perez researches the potential of bitter melon to treat diabetes. Jose is currently a doctoral student at the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center in the department of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Listen to the podcast here.