Soil

Chronic wasting disease has been detected in British Columbia deer, and we need to act now

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Since 1996, a deadly neurodegenerative disease of cervids (deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer) has been spreading across Canada.

Key Points: 
  • Since 1996, a deadly neurodegenerative disease of cervids (deer, elk, moose, caribou, reindeer) has been spreading across Canada.
  • On Jan. 31, 2024, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected for the first time in British Columbia in two deer.

Disease-causing proteins

  • The protein is similar to other normal proteins in the body, except it’s abnormally shaped.
  • The abnormal folding of these disease-causing prion proteins — which are found most abundantly in the brain — leads to brain damage that makes the brain appear like a sponge.
  • Other TSEs include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in people, bovine-spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”) in cows, and scrapie in sheep and goats.
  • This means that early detection and management is critical for reducing the impact of this disease.

British Columbia’s preparations

  • has established a surveillance program to detect CWD as soon as possible.
  • Our research suggests that a robust approach to such a difficult disease will require rapid, collective and collaborative action across sectors.
  • This approach must involve wildlife managers, hunters, local communities, First Nations and researchers to integrate a number of approaches.

Surveillance and management

  • Many CWD management programs rely on removing infected animals from the landscape.
  • While it is mandatory to submit the heads from hunted cervids in select management units in B.C., in most regions, submission is voluntary.
  • Hunters can participate in CWD management and surveillance by removing the head of the animal and submitting it to a local testing station or freezer for CWD testing.
  • The public can also participate in CWD surveillance and management by reporting signs of sick animals and vehicle collisions with cervids.
  • This is why testing cervids that have been killed by vehicles is also a critical component of CWD surveillance and management.

Curbing the spread

  • CWD can spread between animals through contact with bodily fluids.
  • Legal restrictions on carcass transport and the use of urine-based scents in hunting can also reduce the unintentional spread of CWD.
  • Research has shown that community-focused communication and engagement are essential for the success of CWD management efforts.
  • In the days ahead, fostering open dialogue and collaboration will be paramount towards an effective and sustainable effort against CWD.


Kaylee Byers is the Regional Deputy Director of the British Columbia Node of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative and collaborates with the Wildlife Health Program, which leads Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance in British Columbia. Sarah Robinson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Australians are washing microplastics down the drain and it’s ending up on our farms

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

This nutrient-rich material is then dried to make “biosolids”, which are used to fertilise agricultural soil.

Key Points: 
  • This nutrient-rich material is then dried to make “biosolids”, which are used to fertilise agricultural soil.
  • Unfortunately every kilogram of biosolids also contains thousands of tiny pieces of plastic.
  • These pieces are so small they can only be seen under a microscope, so they’re called microplastics.

Biosolids as fertiliser

  • The waste becomes a resource, a useful and economically viable fertiliser, rather than ending up in landfill.
  • Read more:
    More than 1,200 tonnes of microplastics are dumped into Aussie farmland every year from wastewater sludge

Microplastics in Australian biosolids

  • Wastewater treatment plants can capture anywhere from 60% to more than 90% of the microplastics in sewage before the wastewater is discharged.
  • We assessed the abundance, characteristics and size ranges of microplastics in biosolids collected from 13 wastewater treatment plants across three states.
  • We suspect this corresponds to people washing more synthetic fleece clothing and blankets.
  • We estimate Australians release between 0.7g and 21g of microplastics per person into wastewater every year.
  • This contributes to the amount of microplastics in biosolids.
  • Our biosolid samples contained anywhere from 1kg to 17kg of microplastics per tonne.

What’s the problem?

  • While natural weathering processes such as sunshine and rain will slowly break down microplastics into smaller and smaller particles, that only makes matters worse.
  • Smaller particles cause more harmful effects to soil organisms.
  • Microplastics in soil can be ingested by soil organisms such as earthworms and cause harmful effects on these vital organisms.

Here’s what we can do

  • We need to put effective control measures in place to minimise the accumulation of microplastic in productive agricultural soils.
  • The most effective way to do this is to reduce the level of microplastics in biosolids at the source.
  • Australia’s National Plastics Plan recommends the Australian government work with industry to “phase-in” microfibre filters on all washing machines by 2030.
  • Read more:
    'Humanity's signature': study finds plastic pollution in the world's lakes can be worse than in oceans
  • This project was co-sponsored by Urban Utilities, Sydney Water, SA Water, Water Corporation (WA) and Eurofins Environment Testing Australia.
  • Frederic Leusch receives funding related to this research topic from the Queensland Government through an Advance Queensland Industry Research Project, Water Research Australia, and various Australian water utilities.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Toolkit Research Report 2023-2028: Increasing Need to Accelerate End-To-End Ml and Data Science Pipelines Using Optimized Deep Learning Frameworks Fueling Growth

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

These toolkits are revolutionizing content creation and distribution across industries by automating the production of high-quality, contextually relevant content at scale.

Key Points: 
  • These toolkits are revolutionizing content creation and distribution across industries by automating the production of high-quality, contextually relevant content at scale.
  • The utilization of computer vision in industrial automation is a central driver for the AI toolkit market.
  • These tools provide valuable insights into soil conditions, weather, and crop health, enabling data-driven decisions and minimizing resource wastage.
  • As a result, adoption is increasing, addressing food security, and propelling the overall AI toolkit market in Asia Pacific.

Consolidated Lithium Announces Vallée JV Intersects 1.04% Li2O over 7.15 m

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

The 2023 summer drilling program succeeded at tracing lithium-bearing pegmatite mineralization associated with the adjacent NAL operating lithium mine across the entire width of the Vallée JV property (the “JV Property”) from northwest to southeast (see Figure 2).

Key Points: 
  • The 2023 summer drilling program succeeded at tracing lithium-bearing pegmatite mineralization associated with the adjacent NAL operating lithium mine across the entire width of the Vallée JV property (the “JV Property”) from northwest to southeast (see Figure 2).
  • The 2023 program extended the Core Pegmatite 700 m to the southeast from the area defined by CLM’s 2021 and 2022 drilling programs.
  • The Company’s East Vallée project is located immediately adjacent to the JV Property (see Figures 2 and 3).
  • The East Vallée project overlies an additional 5 km of the Vallée Lithium Trend that has never been drill-tested for lithium (see Figure 2).

Climate change is forcing Australians to weigh up relocating. How do they make that difficult decision?

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Big environmental changes mean ever more Australians will confront the tough choice of whether to move home or risk staying put.

Key Points: 
  • Big environmental changes mean ever more Australians will confront the tough choice of whether to move home or risk staying put.
  • Communities in the tropical north are losing residents as these regions become hotter and more humid.
  • Others face rising bushfire risks that force them to weigh up the difficult decision to move home.

We’ve been slow to adapt to increasing impacts

  • It is increasing the frequency and intensity of disasters and extreme weather events such as heatwaves, fires, storms and floods.
  • It is also accelerating environmental changes such as soil erosion, salinisation of waterways, loss of biodiversity, and land and water degradation.
  • Both sudden disruptions and gradual pervasive decline have impacts on the places where we live, work and play.

What factors affect the decision to stay or go?

  • Systemic inequalities mean some people are more at risk from environmental change and have less capacity to respond than others.
  • This makes it more likely to be owned or rented by people with fewer financial resources, compounding their disadvantage.
  • For First Nations peoples and communities, connections to and responsibilities for places (Country) are intimately intertwined with identity.
  • For them, the impacts of climate change, colonisation and resettlement interact, further complicating the question of relocation.

So who stays and who leaves?

  • They nominated bushland, beaches, fauna and flora, and the climate/weather as characteristics they valued and feared changing or losing as climate change progressed.
  • One study participant wrote:
    It would be hotter and much more unpleasant in summer.
  • I would miss being able to cycle or walk to the local lakes to connect to nature and feel peaceful.
  • We also found place attachment was associated with people acting to protect that place, such as protesting environmentally destructive policies.

Proper planning for adaptation is long overdue

  • It causes significant economic and non-economic losses for both individuals and communities.
  • A changing climate and inappropriately built or located housing interact to create conditions where some people can or should no longer stay.
  • We need co-ordinated, well-governed, long-term planning for people to move in the face of environmental change to ensure equitable and positive transitions for individuals and communities.


Justine Dandy received funding for this work from the Centre for People, Place and Planet, Edith Cowan University. Zoe Leviston received funding for this work from the College of Health and Medicine, Australian National University

Hodo's Bold New Dips are SOY Good!

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Hodo, a perennial favorite of Michelin-star chefs and home cooks alike, launches into the new category leading with a line of tasty dips to level up any dish or party. Think beyond chickpeas, almonds and cashews, these dips feature an unexpected primary ingredient - creamy organic soybeans – which provides a luscious and satisfying base. All three dips: Sambal Sweet Chili Dip, Chili Crisp Dip and Zesty Lemon Dip are dairy-free, nut-free, and made with premium, simple ingredients.

Key Points: 
  • Think beyond chickpeas, almonds and cashews, these dips feature an unexpected primary ingredient - creamy organic soybeans – which provides a luscious and satisfying base.
  • All three dips: Sambal Sweet Chili Dip, Chili Crisp Dip and Zesty Lemon Dip are dairy-free, nut-free, and made with premium, simple ingredients.
  • These dips feature an unexpected ingredient - creamy organic soybeans - providing a luscious and satisfying base.
  • I enjoy these dips with everything, from crudites to crackers, salads to sandwiches, they just make everything taste better."

AeroGarden Expands Best-Selling Harvest Line with Launch of Harvest 2.0

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's leading in-home, smart hydroponic garden brand, AeroGarden, today announced the launch of Harvest 2.0, the next iteration of its best-selling Harvest unit. The new sleek, design-forward, and easy-to-use indoor garden fits seamlessly into your home, and is available in black and white colors, with additional varieties to come. Perfect for at-home chefs, indoor gardeners, and tech enthusiasts, Harvest 2.0 is now available for purchase online at Amazon and AeroGarden.com for $89.99.

Key Points: 
  • MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's leading in-home, smart hydroponic garden brand, AeroGarden , today announced the launch of Harvest 2.0, the next iteration of its best-selling Harvest unit.
  • Perfect for at-home chefs, indoor gardeners, and tech enthusiasts, Harvest 2.0 is now available for purchase online at Amazon and AeroGarden.com for $89.99.
  • AeroGarden's Harvest 2.0 allows anyone to grow fresh herbs, vegetables, flowers, and more year-round, eliminating the need for sun and soil.
  • To learn more about AeroGarden's full collection and the new Harvest 2.0 unit, please visit AeroGarden.com or follow their journey on Instagram @OfficialAeroGarden .

Noble Research Institute Announces the Notable Regenerative Ag Experts Leading its 2024 Essentials Courses

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

ARDMORE, Okla., Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Farmers and ranchers who enroll in regenerative ranching courses from Noble Research Institute, the nation's largest independent agricultural research organization, will learn from a select group of expert advisors and facilitators with decades of combined experience in soil health and the management of grazing, ranchlands, wildlife habitats and more.

Key Points: 
  • The ten experienced facilitators lead the Noble Land Essentials and Noble Grazing Essentials courses throughout the Great Plains region.
  • ARDMORE, Okla., Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Farmers and ranchers who enroll in regenerative ranching courses from Noble Research Institute , the nation's largest independent agricultural research organization, will learn from a select group of expert advisors and facilitators with decades of combined experience in soil health and the management of grazing, ranchlands, wildlife habitats and more.
  • Whether taking the Noble Land Essentials soil health course or the Noble Grazing Essentials course, ranchers will benefit from more than 200 years of experience offered by the selected advisors and facilitators leading these in-person, hands-on workshops.
  • Whether taking the Noble Land Essentials soil health course or the Noble Grazing Essentials course, ranchers will benefit from more than 200 years of experience offered by the selected advisors and facilitators leading these in-person, hands-on workshops.

Monarch Casino & Resort Reports 2023 Fourth Quarter Financial Results

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Despite these factors and ongoing construction disruptions, we grew market share in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Key Points: 
  • Despite these factors and ongoing construction disruptions, we grew market share in the fourth quarter of 2023.
  • The slight decline in hotel revenue in the 2023 fourth quarter reflects increased competitive pressures in Reno.
  • During the 2023 fourth quarter, the Company made $2.5 million in principal payments on its credit facility.
  • Subsequent to the end of the fourth quarter, the Company paid down the remaining principal and currently has no outstanding long-term debt.

Yield10 Bioscience Grants Global License to VISION Bioenergy Oilseeds for Herbicide Tolerant Camelina Cultivated for the Production of Biofuel Feedstock

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024

and LONGMONT, Colo., Feb. 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:YTEN) (“Yield10” or the “Company”), an agricultural bioscience company, and VISION Bioenergy Oilseeds , LLC (“VISION”), a U.S. agricultural company focused on commercial production of ultra-low carbon biofuel feedstock, today announced that Yield10 has granted to VISION a global license to certain proprietary varieties of Camelina sativa (“Camelina”) for the production of feedstock oil for biofuels.

Key Points: 
  • and LONGMONT, Colo., Feb. 14, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yield10 Bioscience, Inc. (Nasdaq:YTEN) (“Yield10” or the “Company”), an agricultural bioscience company, and VISION Bioenergy Oilseeds , LLC (“VISION”), a U.S. agricultural company focused on commercial production of ultra-low carbon biofuel feedstock, today announced that Yield10 has granted to VISION a global license to certain proprietary varieties of Camelina sativa (“Camelina”) for the production of feedstock oil for biofuels.
  • By facilitating the large-scale commercial production of herbicide tolerant Camelina, this license agreement is intended to empower farmers to capitalize on the growing biofuel market while advancing the decarbonization goals of aviation, maritime, and heavy-duty transport industries.
  • Commercial production of Camelina is currently ramping up in North America as a source of ultra-low carbon feedstock oil for the biofuel industry.
  • In consideration for the license and completion of certain deliverables, VISION will make cash payments to Yield10 totaling $3 million.