Link About It: This Week’s Picks

How ancient grains could be the future of food, responsible use of AI, clean energy ideas and more from around the web

How Origami Is Innovating Technology Origami dates back to the 17th century in Japan, but it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that people began to consider the practice an art form due, in large part, to origami master Akira Yoshizawa. Since then, origami has gone on to become a respected art and now a tool to revolutionize science and technology. For example, the patterns and …

Ancient Seeds From the Fertile Crescent Save Crops From Climate Change

In Terbol, Lebanon, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) stores tens of thousands of seeds sourced from the Fertile Crescent region—an area in Western Asia and North Africa that encompasses modern-day countries including Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Egypt. The collection, which comprises many seeds from the early origins of agriculture, is part archive, part insurance plan for …

Turning Plastic Waste into a Soil Additive

Scientists at University of California, Riverside (UCR) have devised a way to convert plastic waste into a highly porous form of charcoal that, when added to farmland soil, can improve water retention, contribute to aeration and even capture carbon. The technique entails mixing one or two common forms of plastic with the leftover stalks, leaves and husks from corn and compressing the resulting amalgam in …