Startup Aims to Bring Useless Farmland Back to Life

Technology Review writes: "Last week, Ceres, a biotechnology company in Thousand Oaks, CA, announced that it had developed a trait that allows several common crops to grow under highly saline conditions, even in seawater. Ceres researchers have tested the trait in Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, and switchgrass, a hardy perennial that's used as a feedstock for making ethanol and other biofuels. "The fact that we've seen this very high-level salt tolerance in three different plant species gives us a high degree of confidence that this trait will recapitulate itself in other energy grasses as well," says Ceres CEO Richard Hamilton."

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Craters on Dwarf Planet Ceres Shine in Stunning New Up-Close Photos

The images were captured last month by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from a distance of just 240 miles (385 kilometers) — the final and closest of a series of orbits for the probe, which has been circling Ceres since March 2015.


7 Strange Facts About Dwarf Planet Ceres

On Friday morning (March 6), NASA's Dawn spacecraft will arrive at Ceres, becoming the first probe ever to orbit a dwarf planet.

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and the closest dwarf planet to Earth. Dawn is expected to provide a wealth of information about Ceres' evolution and composition.

While Dawn's work will be the first in-depth examination of Ceres, astronomers have learned a bit about the dwarf planet already using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, Europe's Herschel Space Observatory and other instruments. Here are seven weird facts about Ceres.


NASA Spacecraft Becomes First to Orbit a Dwarf Planet

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles (61,000 kilometers) from Ceres when it was captured by the dwarf planet’s gravity at about 4:39 a.m. PST (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday.

Stringerbell3325d ago

Cant wait to find out more about Ceres!