By AURI Editor’s note: As a service to our readers, we provide news about the work of others in ag utilization. Often, research done elsewhere complements AURI’s work.
Blockchain – Australia
Agriculture and food are ideal domains to exploit the potential of distributed ledgers or blockchain. This emerging technology is most commonly associated with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, but it can be used equally well in agriculture for decentralized and transactional data-sharing across a large network of untested participants. This technology enables new forms of distributed systems and agreements and captures transactions permanently, without relying on a trusted central authority. Blockchain technology allows information to be carried along a supply chain; to match product to processing demands; to enable traceability, verify provenance and monitor quality and safety. In the future, a Tokyo restaurant could use blockchain technology to verify that a cut of wagyu beef originated from a particular farm in Tasmania. Through blockchain, producers will be able to escape the trap of commodity production, where products cannot attract premium prices. Blockchain will open up ways for farmers to put their products into differentiated markets by allowing verification of provenance and other attributes. It will meet the demand by consumers for better quality assurance of their food.
Spinach protein and blackberry dye give juice to biohybrid solar cells
Vanderbilt researchers discovered that berries can increase the voltage of spinach-derived biohybrid solar cells by up to a factor of 20.
The interdisciplinary team discovered that combining a natural dye from blackberries with photosynthetic proteins extracted from spinach leaves creates a device that can produce vastly more voltage than a solar cell made from spinach protein alone.
Plants convert solar energy to chemical energy at a global rate of 90 terawatts through photosynthesis. Scientists at Vanderbilt University discovered that combining a natural dye from blackberries with photosynthetic proteins extracted from spinach leaves creates a device that can produce vastly more voltage than a solar cell made from spinach protein alone. Biohybrid solar cells that incorporate natural materials can become a cost-effective source of electricity if their energy is increased. The technology is at an early stage, comparable to silicon solar cells of 30 to 40 years ago that were limited to powering electronic watches and calculators.