Total Pageviews Pageviews all time history 13,800

MORINGA STUDIY IN NICARAGUA | Moringamama's Blog

MORINGA STUDIY IN NICARAGUA | Moringamama's Blog

I was able to pay a 4-day visit to Nicaragua last week to see the work done by Nikolaus and Gabriele Foidl of BIOMASA in research on the moringa tree (Moringa oleifera).  They have accumulated a wealth of new information about the use of moringa in agroforestry systems, as cattle feed, as a growth hormone for plants, as well as insights into oil extraction and water treatment.
BIOMASA is an agricultural research program located in Nicaragua that has studied various aspects of moringa for over six years.
Moringa Leaf Extract As A Plant Growth Hormone
Juice from fresh moringa leaves can be used to produce an effective plant growth hormone, increasing yields by 25-30% for nearly any crop: onions, bell pepper, soya, maize, sorghum, coffee, tea, chili, melon . . . One of the active substances is Zeatin: a plant hormone from the Cytokinines group.  This foliar spray should be used in addition to (and not in lieu of) other fertilizers, watering and sound agricultural practices.
In one trial, use of this spray increased maize yields from 60 to 130 sacks per hectare.  Using this hormone, BIOMASA was able to grow coffee at 30 meters altitude.  Coffee, shaded with Jatropha curcas, produced beans in just 17 months.
Here is how they make the spray:
a) Make an extract by grinding young moringa shoots (not more than 40 days old) together with a bit of water (about one liter per 10 kg fresh material).
b) Filter the solid out of the solution.  This can be done by placing the solution in a cloth and wringing out the liquid.  The solid matter, which will contain 12-14% protein, can be used as livestock feed.
c) Dilute the extract with water at a 1:32 ratio and spray directly onto plants (if the extract is not going to be used within five hours, it is best stored in a freezer until needed).  Apply about 25 ml per plant.
The foliar spray should be applied 10 days after the first shoots emerge from
the soil, again about 30 days before plants begin to flower, again when seed appears and finally once more during the maturation phase.
Nikolaus Foidl with coffee under Jatropha
Moringa Shoots As Green Manure
Using moringa as a green manure can significantly enrich agricultural land.  In this process, the land is first tilled.  Moringa seed is then planted 1-2 cm deep at a spacing of 10×10 cm (a density of one million seed per hectare).  The density can be greater.  The only limits to plant density are availability of seed, water and fertilizer.  After 25 days, the seedlings are plowed into the soil to a depth of 15 cm.  The land is prepared again for the crop desired.
Seeding can be done mechanically if the seed is first de-hulled.  Planting kernels will reduce germination time by up to three days.
A simple method of seeding is to first rototill the soil to a depth of 10 cm, then scatter seed over the soil and rototill again to a depth of 2-3 cm.
Intensive Moringa Leaf Production
Whether produced for use as a green manure, for livestock or for human consumption, moringa can be grown intensively with yields of up to 650 metric tons of green matter per hectare.  This compares very well to other green manure crops such as lablab beans, which yield up to 110 tons/hectare of green matter in pure stands.
These high yields were obtained through subsoiling to a depth of 60 cm (to encourage drainage and good root development), rotavating, then planting moringa at a 10×10 cm density (one million plants per hectare) with sufficient fertilizer (cow dung is preferred).   BIOMASA did sub-soiling with a deep plugging unit produced by a German company called HOWARD (unit costs US$8,000 and requires a 150 HP tractor).
The green matter is harvested when plants reach a height of 50 cm or more (every 35-40 days), cut at a distance of 15-20 cm above the ground.  Although losses of seedlings may be 20-30% in the first year, the vigorous regrowth of the remaining seedlings will produce 3 or 5 new shoots after each cutting.  Up to nine harvests can be obtained annually.  In time (some of BIOMASA’s moringa stands are three years old) the 15-20 cm stem will become thick and woody but will continue to send up green shoots.
The 650 metric ton yield was obtained in sandy, well-drained soil at 30 meters altitude.  Rainfall was 1300 mm annually with irrigation practiced during the dry season.  At this level of production, the nutrient requirement per hectare each year is:
1,800 kg Calcium
0.5 kg Copper
1,400 kg Magnesium
380 kg Phosphorus
0.6 kg Boron
280 kg Nitrogen
0.3 kg Zinc
Intensive leaf production in Senegal
For bulk orders, local fertilizer producers can mix this to order.  Barring that, adding urea to existing fertilizers can provide many of the needed nutrients. [Ed.: Note that the soils in other locations may be able to provide a portion of these requirements and fertilizer needs may be different.]
Moringa As Livestock Feed
BIOMASA conducted extensive trials using moringa leaves as cattle feed (beef and milk cows), swine feed, and poultry feed.  With moringa leaves constituting 40-50% of feed, milk yields for dairy cows and daily weight gains for beef cattle increased 30%.  Birth weight, averaging 22 kg for local Jersey cattle, increased by 3-5 kg.
The high protein content of moringa leaves must be balanced with other energy food.  Cattle feed consisting of 40-50% moringa leaves should be mixed with molasses, sugar cane, young elephant grass, sweet (young) sorghum plants, or whatever else is locally available.  The maximum protein and fiber content of livestock feed should be:
Lactating cow: Protein  18%;  Fiber 26-30%
Beef cow:  Protein  12-14%;  Fiber  36%
Lactating sow: Protein  16-18%;  Fiber   5-7%
Meat pig:  Protein  12-14%;  Fiber   5-7%
Care must be taken to avoid excessive protein intake.  Too much protein in pig feed will increase muscle development at the expense of fat production.  In cattle feed, too much protein can be fatal (from alteration of the nitrogen cycle).
Nutrient value of moringa leaves can be increased for poultry and swine through the addition of an enzyme (phytase) to break down the phytates, leading to increased absorption of the phosphorus found in moringa.  The enzyme should be simply mixed in with the leaves without heating.  It is NOT for use with ruminants. [Companies that sell phytase include Roche (Hoffman-LaRoche), which has distributors worldwide. ECHO was quoted a price of US$6.40/kg of Ronozymetm P (also sold as Roxazymetm in some regions). One kilo of enzyme at that concentration can treat 3333 kg of broiler chicken feed, the same amount of swine feed, or 5555 kg layer chicken feed. If you don't know of a local Roche dealer you can find one on the internet at www.roche.com/vitamins/areas.htmlor write to their mail order address at Roche Vitamins Inc., PO Box 910, Nutley, NJ 07110-1199, USA.]
Cattle were fed 15-17 kg of moringa daily.  Milking should be done at least three hours after feeding to avoid the grassy taste of moringa in the milk.
With moringa feed, milk production was 10 liters/day.
Without moringa feed, milk production was 7 liters/day.
With moringa feed, daily weight gain of beef cattle was 1,200 grams/day.  Without moringa feed, daily weight gain of beef cattle was 900 grams/day.
The higher birth weight (3-5 kg) can be problematic for small cattle.  It may be advisable to induce birth 10 days prematurely to avoid problems.  Incidence of twin births also increased dramatically with moringa feed:  3 per 20 births as opposed to the usual average of 1:1000.
Moringa Leaf Concentrate
Chickens will not voluntarily consume moringa leaves or moringa leaf powder. However, about half the protein content can be extracted from the leaves in the form of a concentrate which can then be added to chicken feed (or used in many other ways). The protein content desired in chicken feed is 22%. To obtain the concentrate, mix leaves with water and run the mix through a hammer mill.  Heat this mash to 70 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes.  The protein will clump and settle to the bottom. After pouring off the liquid, this can then be freeze-dried.
A somewhat simpler alternative to freeze-drying is to take a pressure cooker and fit in the top a copper tube or steel tube.  Take a compressor from an old refrigerator. Link the tube to the compressor inlet and run the compressor. At a temperature of 300 C and about 50 mm of vacuum you can take out most of the water by evaporation in vacuum (in case you need it dry).
But if you wish to use it as a fresh fodder just take the sludge after sedimentation and mix it with dry fodder until you can handle it as a semidry mass.  Then press it through a meat grinder to make homemade pellets.  For pig fodder just mix the pellets with the normal fodder (be careful not to overdo it – fattening pigs need 12-14% and lactating pigs 16-18% protein).
Moringa Seed Oil Extraction
Nikolaus Foidl designed a motorized moringa seed de-huller with a built-in blower to separate out the chaff.  The de-hulling part of the machine consists of two revolving rubber plates slightly oval in shape.  Seed is run through 3 times, with the space between the plates diminished slightly each time (smaller seed not de-hulled the first time will be de-hulled the 2nd or 3rd time).
Nikolaus suggests that a screw press made of simple iron may be better suited to moringa oil extraction than one made of steel. Chromium and nickel in the steel may react with the oil and lower oil quality. One possibility is the FAKT press, a German-designed oil press now produced in India, which BIOMASA has successfully used to extract Jatropha oil. The FAKT press costs about US$1400 and will process 80-90 kg/hour. [Contact FAKT - Associated Consultants, Stephan Blattman Str. 11, 78120 Furtwangen, Germany; phone: +49 7723 91 20 63; fax: +49 7723 53 73; e-mail:ReiMetzler@aol.com.]
Following extraction, moringa oil should be filtered (through cheese cloth or coffee filter).  This will remove the protein content upon which bacteria feed.  Viscosity of oil can be improved by heating it to 40-50( C before filtering.
At Church World Service in Senegal, one oil extraction trial used kernels that had been de-hulled three months earlier.  The oil promptly separated into a milky wax and liquid.  According to Nikolaus, this was probably due to the rapid deterioration in the stored kernels of the anti-oxidant vitamin E.  A few (1-5) drops per liter of the essential oil of sage, rosemary or mint (or a twig of the latter), both excellent anti-oxidants, can be added to moringa oil to stabilize it.   (Trials can be done to determine at what point the taste of the sage or rosemary oil becomes noticeable.)
Water Treatment
Among other achievements, BIOMASA installed a water treatment system using moringa seed powder in one village in Nicaragua.  BIOMASA also isolated the active ingredient, a polyelectrolyte, in the laboratory.  One hundred kg of moringa kernels will produce about 1 kg of (almost pure) polyelectrolyte.
BIOMASA found that the level of polyelectrolyte present in the kernels is substantially less during the wet season.  (This may explain why, in our work in Senegal, a water treatment experiment done last September failed to work!)  Seed harvested for water treatment should be harvested during the dry season only.
Seed powder can also be used to harvest algae from waste water, currently an expensive process using centrifuges.  Spirolina algae is farmed in Mexico and Israel with minor production in other countries.  The spirolina are used in health food and cosmetic products, and it is a common fish food ingredient.  Seed powder will cause the algae to sink to the bottom.  Once harvested, further drying can be done with a simple steam-heated drum dryer heated to 110(C to kill eggs, etc. In feeding fish, 100% of protein can come from algae sources.  For cattle feed, however, at most 10% of protein content can be replaced with algae protein. It should also be cautioned that algae food or feed products can contain toxins from the water in which it was grown.
General Notes
According to Foidl, moringa wood makes excellent pulp – as good as poplar (Populus sp.).
Leaves are excellent for biogas production.
The effective altitude limit for growing moringa is 500 meters. [Ed: This might be higher nearer the equator.] Excessively windy conditions will cause the tree to dry out.
Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) content: there are around 25 kinds of B-carotene.  Efficiency of retinol production varies among types.  Research is still required to know more about the B-carotene types in moringa leaves and their efficiency in transforming carotene to retinol, as well as the losses or inactivation due to various moringa processing methods.
We’ve had to be brief about most of these processes. For more information contact: Nikolaus Foidl, Proyecto Biomasa, Uni Rupap, Costado Sur, Villa Progreso, Managua, Nicaragua; e-mail:biomasa@ibw.com.ni. ECHO also has added a new website on moringa to the internet at www.moringaseed.com.
Note: This article appeared in EDN #68 June 2000
Moringa Tree InformationEDN Stories: NEW USES OF MORINGA STUDIED IN NICARAGUA
Posted byECHO Editor on Tuesday, June 08 @ 12:19:33 CDT
Contributed by ECHO Staff

By Lowell Fuglie
We featured the work of Dr. Lowell Fuglie (Church World Service, Dakar, Senegal) with the moringa tree as a base for a nutrition program in EDN 64. When he spoke at ECHO’s conference last November he told us that he had heard of innovative research into uses of moringa in Nicaragua.  In April of this year he made a trip to Nicaragua to see this work first-hand.  The following is his report on that trip. While parts of this project make use of machinery that few in our network would have available, the results can still be helpful.  You might find a way to adapt to your situation, even if yields might be less. Editor.

Chris Hedges Sits Down With Bill Moyers



Published on Jul 24, 2012
In one of the most pointed, sweeping and personal public conversations about Chris Hedges' life and work yet, Bill Moyers speaks with the journalist after the release of "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," the book Hedges co-authored with fellow reporter and artist Joe Sacco. The 50-minute conversation is followed by a segment on Sacco, who talks about the thinking and experiences that moved him to become a "comics journalist."

Leading Palm Oil Company Agrees to Aim for Zero Deforestation (+playlist)

One Community Sustainable Food Production Infrastructure : One Community

One Community Sustainable Food Production Infrastructure : One Community

Read More! See Link

AQUAPONICS TO TAKE US BEYOND FOOD SUSTAINABILITY

sustainable food, best practice food, sustainable food systems, aquaponics, walipini, aquapini, zen aquapini, One Community, open source food, free-shared architecture, sustainable living, green living, eco living, living ecologically, for The Highest Good of All, transforming the world, grow your own food, build your own greenhouse in the ground, ground greenhouse, open source architecture, architects of the future, sustainability non-profit, 501c3 organization, sustainable life, water catchment, organic food, food anywhere, maximum food diversity, build your own farmers market, sustainability cooperative, sustainable living group, open source, sustainability nonprofit, free-shared plans, teacher/demonstration village, open source project-launch blueprinting, One Community UpdateFeed the world, sustainable food infrastructure, open source food, open source sustainability, open source ecology, One Community, feed the world, feed the planet, aquaponics, aquapini, walipini designs, free aquaponics plans, free walipini plans, free architecture plans, free-sharing food plans, large-scale aquaponics, large-scale food production, organic food, pesticide free food, fresh food, green living, sustainability non profit, 501c3 food production, One Community Living, grow you own food, sustainable communities planning, open source villages, teacher/demonstration villages, global sustainability, creating the New Golden Agesustainable food, best practice food, sustainable food systems, aquaponics, walipini, aquapini, zen aquapini, One Community, open source food, free-shared architecture, sustainable living, green living, eco living, living ecologically, for The Highest Good of All, transforming the world, grow your own food, build your own greenhouse in the ground, ground greenhouse, open source architecture, architects of the future, sustainability non-profit, 501c3 organization, sustainable life, water catchment, organic food, food anywhere, maximum food diversity, build your own farmers market, sustainability cooperative, sustainable living group, open source, sustainability nonprofit, free-shared plans, teacher/demonstration village, open source project-launch blueprinting, One Community Update
"Initially One Community will build three different sustainable food production models. There will be 3 walipini greenhouses, and 3 aquapinis (aquaponics housed in a walipini): 1 purposed for large-scale production of lettuces and the other most commonly consumed vegetables, and the other two purposed for maximum food diversity and beauty (click to learn why). Once established as part of our long-term plan, these 6 food production facilities have been estimated to be capable of providing enough volume and variety to feed all of One Community and our visitors.
Our initial team of Community Pioneers should be able to complete the first two of the walipini / aquaponics “aquapini” geothermal aquaponics food farms with 3-4 months of effort and an average weekly team commitment of 200 hours per week to this task.

YIELD AND USE

Aquaponics versus traditional farming requires 2% of the water, 5% of the space, and produces TEN TIMES the yield. Traditionally used for producing cabbage, lettuce, basil, tomatoes, okra, cantaloupe, bell peppers, beans, peas, cucumbers, radishes, watercress, taro, strawberries, melons, onions, turnips, sweet potato, and most herbs, aquaponics also produces fish and shrimp! And just 25 feet of growing space will produce enough annual food to completely feed a person.
The reason we are building 6 combination aquaponics and walipini systems is to open source and free-share designs and tutorials for maximum sustainable food diversity, three different walipini food production options, to experiment with new foods, to demonstrate a variety of different fish/shrimp/bivalve/frog models of fertilization, and because they will create enough growing space to:"


CONSULTANTS ON OUR AQUAPONICS DESIGNS
Avery Ellis: Aquaponics Specialist and owner/operator of Integrated AquaponicsCharles McLean: Architecture & Urban Agriculture Designer, Professor, and owner of OM Greengroup
Douglas Simms Stenhouse: Architect and Water Color Artist (see: transparentwatercolor.com)

INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO

This 12-minute video on de-desertification/afforestation is included here not because it talks about amazing improvements in food production, sustainability, and restoring the natural eco-systems through super simple permaculture practices, but because it is an example of how principles and practices spread on their own when they provide value to individuals and cultures. From resistance and distrust in new methods to literally putting up a flag to draw people in so they can tell their success story to passersby and everyone in their community, the people of Africa are improving their way of life and restoring the natural eco-systems to the benefit of the planet and themselves.

One Community Sustainable Food Production Infrastructure : One Community

One Community Sustainable Food Production Infrastructure : One Community

Washington Deputy Director, US Program Policy and Advocacy - Postsecondary Success Job - DC, 20001 CAREERS.GATESFOUNDATION.ORGWashington Deputy Director, US Program Policy and Advocacy - Postsecondary Success Job - DC, 20001 -


Top science and space stories of 2013, By Elizabeth Landau and Matt Smith, CNN (CNN) -- It has been a thrilling year of discovery in many areas of science, but also a sobering time -- federal funding cuts threaten the future of innovation, and rising carbon dioxide levels foreshadow environmental and health challenges linked to climate change.

Top science and space stories of 2013


The Curiosity rover did it: We now know<a href='http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/12/nasa-yes-mars-could-have-hosted-life' target='_blank'> life could have existed on Mars</a>. Meanwhile, a company called Mars One announced plans to send people there, and <a href='http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/10/tech/innovation/mars-one-plan/index.html' target='_blank'>200,000 people signed up to be prospective astronauts</a>. The Curiosity rover did it: We now know life could have existed on Mars. Meanwhile, a company called Mars One announced plans to send people there, and 200,000 people signed up to be prospective astronauts.
HIDE CAPTION
1. Yes, Mars could have hosted life
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NASA says there really could have been life on Mars
  • Voyager 1 is the first human-made object to leave the solar system
  • Scientists discover a new adorable mammal called the olinguito
  • Asteroids pass by, and a meteor explodes over Russia
(CNN) -- It has been a thrilling year of discovery in many areas of science, but also a sobering time -- federal funding cuts threaten the future of innovation, and rising carbon dioxide levels foreshadow environmental and health challenges linked to climate change.
This was the year we learned that Mars was habitable billions of years ago, and also that Lady Gaga reportedly intends to be the first artist to sing in outer space in 2015 (will the papa-paparazzi follow?).
Let's take a spin around some of the major science stories from 2013:
Mars is the word
In 2012, we celebrated the spectacular acrobatic arrival of NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars. But this year, Curiosity proved its worth as an extraterrestrial scientist, bringing humanity the tantalizing knowledge that life could have once thrived on Mars.
Throughout 2013, scientists announced results from the rover's analyses that revealed new secrets of the Red Planet's history. Clay formations in Mars' Yellowknife Bay indicate an environment that was once favorable to microbial life. The soil contains about 2% water by weight. We also know more about the composition of the planet's atmosphere, which is only 1% as thick as our own.
Top science stories of 2013
Curiosity on Mars: A year of exploration
Mars One mission accepting applications
Meanwhile, a company called Mars One announced its intentions to land four lucky astronauts on Mars in 2025 to begin the first human colonies there. The technology doesn't exist yet to bring anyone back, the company said, so whoever goes will have to stay. More than 200,000 prospective astronauts found this idea attractive enough to apply.
A different group, the Inspiration Mars Foundation, said it wants to send a man and a woman to pass by Mars in 2018, in a round-trip flight without stopping. This made us wonder: Could you survive 501 days in space with your spouse?
Buzz Aldrin, best known for his Apollo 11 moonwalk, has Mars on the mind, too. He wrote on CNN that "we should direct the focus of NASA efforts on establishing a permanent human presence on Mars by the 2030 to 2040 decade."
Elsewhere in space
Further afield, one of the biggest space milestones of the year was the crossing of Voyager 1 out of the solar system. There's no border crossing agent out there, so scientists had to figure out on their own whether the probe had truly entered uncharted territory.
NASA: Voyager has left the solar system
The probe, which launched with its twin, Voyager 2, in 1977, made history as the first human-made object to leave the heliosphere, the magnetic boundary separating the solar system's sun, planets and solar wind from the rest of the galaxy. We didn't get confirmation from scientists until well after the actual event took place, though. A study in the journal Science suggests the probe entered the interstellar medium around August 25, 2012.
Also, scientists put together a picture of the universe as a baby, in greater detail than ever before. Thanks to the new data from the European Space Agency's Planck space telescope, which studies light left over from the Big Bang, scientists now believe that the universe is about 100 million years older than they thought.
A space telescope with a different mission, called Kepler, gave us hope for finding distant planets with life, but also suffered serious setbacks.
Three Kepler planets announced this year, located about 1,200 light-years away, are considered some of the best candidates so far for hosting life. And astronomers still have two years' worth of Kepler data to plow through, said Bill Borucki, the project's principal scientist. (Using different instruments, astronomers separately found other potentially habitable planets in the Gliese 667 system).
The Kepler space telescope has led scientists to believe that most stars in our galaxy have planets circling them. But the spacecraft ran into some trouble this year: The failure of a control mechanism used to keep the device focused on distant stars with pinpoint accuracy. But NASA says it still hopes to find another role for the craft, which has confirmed the existence of more than 135 planets since its launch in 2009.
Asteroid "2012 DA14," measuring 150 feet wide, passed by Earth on February 15.
In the sky, closer to home
As we tracked the progress of machines that humanity sent out of this world, we also watched out for approaching space rocks -- and not all of them flew by gently.
A whopper of an asteroid gave Earth its closest shave in recorded history. At 150 feet wide, "2012 DA14" slipped in below the moon's orbit on February 15 and squeaked by our planet just 17,200 miles from its surface.
In a twist worthy of Tolstoy, as astronomers watched that well-tracked rock approach, a different asteroid plunged into Earth's atmosphere and exploded high over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.
More than 1,500 people were hurt, mostly by flying glass from blown-out windows across the region. It was the biggest cosmic intrusion since the 1908 Tunguska explosion over Siberia.
Scientists determined the meteor was about 60 feet (17 meters) across and packed the punch of about 30 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs when it blew up. Researchers have been collecting and studying the fragments ever since, and in October, a suspected chunk weighing 570 kilograms (1,257 pounds) was hauled out of a nearby lake for study.
NASA's Near Earth Object Program keeps a close eye on the asteroids that pass the planet almost daily, but they don't catch everything. Ukrainian astronomers discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 on October 8, while NASA was closed during the government shutdown. The asteroid had already passed by Earth on September 16.
The Smithsonian announced a species called the olinguito.
The Smithsonian announced a species called the olinguito.
Old species and new
Back on Earth, the animal kingdom got several important additions this year. Some had been extinct for millions of years; some are alive now, and were just hard to find.
Archicebus achilles was the name of the species represented by the oldest primate skeleton found, as described in the journal Nature in June. It is considered to be a missing link between two groups: the anthropoids and the tarsiers. The 2.8-inch-long cutie lived about 55 million years ago.
Then along came a different creature that looks even more cuddly, and it's alive today. Called the olinguito, the Smithsonian described the mammal's appearance as a "a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear," even though we know the latter isn't a real animal. Such discoveries don't happen often; the olinguito is the first mammalian carnivore species to be newly identified in the Americas in 35 years, says Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
The Cape Melville Leaf-Tailed Gecko is also among the species discovered in 2013. This primitive-looking lizard, along with two other vertebrates and a "host of other interesting species" that may also be new to science, have been isolated in a remote mountain range in Australia for millions of years.
Probing the world of ancient humans
We're also learning more about the world of our ancient relatives, although there's not enough information to use the word "ancestor."
A remarkable find in Dmanisi, Georgia, gave us the most complete skull ever of an individual from the early Homo genus. It is the fifth example of an ancient hominid, a bipedal primate mammal that walked upright, at this site.
Scientists involved in the discovery proposed that these individuals are members of a single evolving Homo erectus species, examples of which have been found in Africa and Asia. They also said that what have traditionally been called distinct species from this period -- Homo ergaster, Homo rudolfensis and Homo habilis -- could actually be variations on a single species, Homo erectus.
That's a radical departure from how ancient human relatives are currently classified. Other experts said the skull is an important find, but disagreed with the controversial theories regarding Homo erectus membership.
Another potential game-changer was the reconstruction of the nearly complete mitochondrial genome of an ancient human relative. It is the oldest DNA to be recovered from an early humanlike species, and is about 400,000 years old.
The sequencing technique used in this study, said senior author Svante Paabo, "opens a possibility to now do this at many other sites, and really begin to understand earlier human evolution."
It's heating up on Earth
Scientists are also hoping to help our own species understand the perils associated with climate change. The phenomenon raises the likelihood of severe weather events and is predicted to damage agriculture, forestry, ecosystems and human health.
A key symbolic moment was when the average concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide hit 400 parts per million in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, in May. Such levels haven't been seen in about 3 million years, said J. Marshall Shepherd at the University of Georgia.
Global warming? More like global weirding
Scientists 95% sure on climate change
Rising atmospheric CO2 leads to overall warming. By 2100, the Earth will be warmer than ever, authors of a Science study said in March.
The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released in September, found increasing evidence that ice sheets are losing mass, glaciers are shrinking, Arctic sea ice and global snow cover is decreasing, and permafrost is thawing in the Northern Hemisphere. And the researchers said they were more certain than ever that humans are responsible for at least half the increases in global average temperatures seen since the 1950s.
While the concept of man-made climate change remains controversial politically, the debate among scientists and governments has shifted toward what can be done to limit the carbon emissions blamed for trapping heat in the atmosphere, how to deal with the expected effects, and who should pick up the cost for the poor countries analysts say are likely to be hit the hardest.
A U.N. conference on the topic struggled to reach consensus despite a dramatic plea from a representative of the typhoon-ravaged Philippines. Global emissions were on track to top a record 39 billion tons, though the United States and Europe managed to cut their carbon dioxide releases.
With legislative action likely to fail in the U.S. Congress, the Obama administration took steps on its own to try to rein in emissions and beef up the defenses of vulnerable communities.
Sequester, shutdown suck money out of science
It takes funding to do scientific research, and it's a big problem when the stream stops. The one-two punch of $85 billion in forced spending cuts and a federal government shutdown bit deeply into American science in 2013.
The National Science Foundation, which supports research and education in non-medical science and engineering, said it would be awarding 1,000 fewer grants in 2013.
Nearly half the recipients who get federal science funding say they've recently laid off or will lay off scientists and researchers, according to a survey by 16 scientific societies. The National Institutes of Health, the largest supporter of U.S. biomedical research, said 20,000 researchers and technicians would lose jobs as $1.6 billion was eliminated from its $31 billion budget.
Then, a Republican drive to defund President Barack Obama's signature health care law led to the partial shutdown of federal offices. Hundreds of thousands of government workers were furloughed during the 16-day impasse, including 97% of NASA's employees.
It doesn\'t look as cool as Harry Potter\'s invisibility cloak, but this is real science, not movie magic.
It doesn't look as cool as Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, but this is real science, not movie magic.
Fun with physics
But science is still moving forward, sometimes even toward what looks like science fiction.
Physicists said they had taken a step in the direction of making an invisibility cloak, albeit a small step. Their method can make objects "invisible" within a limited range of light waves -- specifically, microwaves.
And remember the light sabers in "Star Wars"? Scientists said in September that they had made "light-matter," molecules made of particles of light called photons that don't behave like traditional light.
Speaking of particles, we're learning more than ever about what scientists had hoped to find with a $10 billion machine called the Large Hadron Collider. The Higgs boson explains why matter has mass. Physicists announced the discovery last year, but are even more confident now, and the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to the theorists who predicted the particle.
The collider is turned off for upgrades, but physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, told CNN they have a lot more data to look through. More on the "God particle" (yes, we know that's a misnomer) may be in the details.
There's plenty more to find out about our universe in 2014. Let's see if there's enough money to support it.
What were your favorite science stories from 2013? Tell us in the comments.
CNN's Ben Brumfield contributed to this report

The Latest, Greatest “Feel Good” Strategy – Completely Safe and Great for Parties! | daily digest

The Latest, Greatest “Feel Good” Strategy – Completely Safe and Great for Parties! | daily digest

What Does Sugar Do?

Sugar’s dirty work is a result of a number of physiological processes, hormones, and other terms I barely understand, namely:
  1. dopamine
  2. endorphins
  3. opiates
  4. serotonin
Dopamine :: When humans eat sweets, their dopamine level increases, which signals their brain “Reward! Yay!” When it decreases after the sugar leaves the system, the body wants more = craving.
Endorphins :: The “feel good” chemical that sugar gives to the brain that gives people a mood boost and even pain relief.
Opiates :: Yes, that’s the word for heroin and stuff. Sugar isn’t quite that, but high sugar consumption does mimic the body’s opiate system, another way our brain knows it should “feel good.”
Serotonin :: Yet another “happy” hormone, released into the blood after eating sugar – one reason we like to indulge in sugar at celebratory times and when we need some comfort. 
Unfortunately, all these systems telling the brain, “You feel GREAT!” are dragged down by the body’s insulin response to sugar as it tries to bring glucose levels back to normal. The body feels that “crash” of lowering blood glucose after a quick spike, the brain says, “I want more of that other feeling,” and the cycle starts all over again.

Paleo

Paleo

Aquaponics Offers Safe Alternative to Seafood Threatened by Mounting Levels of Ocean Pollution | World-Wire

Aquaponics Offers Safe Alternative to Seafood Threatened by Mounting Levels of Ocean Pollution | World-Wire


Aquaponics Offers Safe Alternative to Seafood Threatened by Mounting Levels of Ocean Pollution


"Aquaponic experts from across the U.S. will offer sustainable solutions to growing fish and vegetables at home or in commercial farms at Aquaponics Association National Conference Sept. 20-22 in Tucson, AZ
"Tucson, AZ, August 29, 2013 –/WORLD-WIRE/– With news spreading that 56 percent of fish tested off the coast off Japan this June were contaminated with radioactive isotopes from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, fish lovers can look to aquaponics as an alternative option for raising their own fish at home that are safe to eat and provide an ongoing source of protein.
Aquaponics – the growing of fish and plants together in recirculating systems – has been taking off across the U.S. by home and commercial-scale farmers who have found the technique to produce significantly more produce than conventional soil-based growing techniques while using up to 90 percent less water.  
People wanting to learn how to grow their own local food with aquaponics or start an aquaponics business, can hear from 30 experts at the 2013 Aquaponics Association National Conference in Tucson, AZ from September 20-22.
“Aquaponic systems work for home and community-scale production,” says JD Sawyer, founder of Colorado Aquaponics, a Denver-based company that runs a neighborhood-scale aquaponics farm located in a Denver “food desert.”  
“Aquaponics provides an ongoing local food source, income generation, and increased sustainability,” adds Sawyer who offers aquaponic educational programs for people and groups who want to take charge of their own food production." READ MORE!

Closed, Local Ocean Fish Farm - Times Union - Entrepreneurs are looking at site. It should be a joint academy/training center and business. For profit/nonprofit. This is our future and the USA has only just woke up, the world is hot on this idea already.

Fish gone at shuttered Local Ocean farm - Times Union

Fish gone at shuttered Local Ocean farm

Big saltwater catch goes to seafood markets, fertilizer company
Updated 6:37 pm, Wednesday, October 2, 2013
  • View from inside Local Ocean fishery Friday afternoon, Aug. 30, 2013, in Greenport N.Y. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union) Photo: Michael P. Farrell / 00023709A
    View from inside Local Ocean fishery Friday afternoon, Aug. 30, 2013, in Greenport N.Y. (Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)

As many as a million saltwater fish have been removed from Local Ocean fish farm in Greenport outside the city of Hudson.
Greenport Supervisor John Porreca confirmed that the fish were gone on Tuesday afternoon, months after the once-promising business closed when the property was foreclosed upon by its lender.
The new owner of the property — a Long Island developer named Mike Spielman — could not be reached for comment. Neither could his Hudson-based attorney, who is on vacation.
WNYT-TV in Albany reported that the inventory was sold to fish markets, as well as a company that makes fertilizer.
Porreca did say that a Korean company has expressed interest in the site potentially as a fish farm and would be looking at the site on Friday.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation, which regulates the site, could not immediately say if it had overseen the disposal of the fish.
Previously, a fish company in Martinsville, Va., called Blue Ridge Aquaculture said it was interested in possibly taking over the operation.
Local Ocean was started by a group of Israeli and Mexican businessmen with fishery technology developed at an Israeli university. The company, originally based in New York City, built its indoor fish farm in Greenport in 2009. Investors put at least $13 million into the company, which also received government subsidies.
Restaurants, and supermarkets such as Wegmans and Price Chopper, bought Local Ocean's fresh fish, which were raised in 150 special tanks.
Spielman, who had sold the property to the company's owners and had kept the mortgage, recently reacquired the property in his own foreclosure sale.
Spielman had promised to find a buyer for the fish and kept them live, even at significant cost to himself, his attorney, Victor Meyers, had said.
lrulison@timesunion.com • 518-454-5504 • @larryrulison