Farmers testing new fertilizer alternative: Bacteria

When Joel Mathiowetz started planting corn this spring on his farm near Morton, Minn., he added the usual starter fertilizer to boost plant growth. But then he added something new: bacteria, right there in the soil alongside the corn seeds. Mathiowetz is one of a handful of farmers in Minnesota who are testing the approach on their corn fields. The bacteria, which have been genetically modified and developed by California-based Pivot Bio, will help the corn plants convert nitrogen from the atmosphere into a form the corn plants can use as fertilizer. The idea is to eventually replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with microbes. They’re not commercially available in Minnesota yet, but Mathiowetz is in his second year of testing the microbes on his farm. It’s a fairly simple process: “I push some fish food-looking material into a solution and activate the microbes prior to applying it to our field,” said Mathiowetz, who raises corn, soybeans and peas with several family members on 2,500 acres in southern Minnesota. Last year, the test plots where he used the microbes produced six bushels of corn more per acre than the fields where he used only fertilizer. ...

Japanese railway company starts testing 249mph bullet train speeds

This week, Japanese railway company JR East showed off its new Alfa-X, a high-speed bullet train that is designed to achieve a top speed of 400kph, or 249mph, which would make it the fastest commercial train in the world. In day-to-day operations, the train would shuttle passengers at 360kph, or roughly 224mph. On Friday, JR East will begin testing the Alfa-X, without passengers, on its railways. According to Bloomberg, the 10-car train will make the trip “between the cities of Aomori and Sendai at night” for the next three years during a testing phase. JR East hopes to use the Alfa-X commercially by 2030. Japan News says the line will eventually be extended to Sapporo. That long lead time suggests that there might be an opening for another high-speed bullet train option to overtake the Alfa-X Shinkansen train in speed for commercial railway service. Bloomberg notes that the front runner for the top-speed crown may be a magnetically levitated train line that’s being built between Tokyo and Nagoya, which is expected to open in 2027. That train, however, takes advantage of a tunnel-heavy route to achieve a top speed of 505kph (314mph). (That project was also bes...

Check out our SLS 3D Printer Guide to the best industrial and desktop SLS 3D printers.

Check out our SLS 3D Printer Guide to the best industrial and desktop SLS 3D printers. Includes SLS 3D printing services, technology overview, applications, materials, and more. Back in the 1980s, at the University of Texas in Austin, Dr. Carl Deckard and Dr. Joe Beaman developed and patented a manufacturing process called selective laser sintering (SLS). This was one of the first 3D printing technologies ever created, and over 30 years later, the technique is still being refined and advanced in a number of ways. SLS 3D printing uses a high-powered laser to fuse powdered material together into a desired 3D shape. This professional-grade technology is ideal for both functional prototyping and small production runs, as it offers a high degree of design freedom, high accuracy, and exceptional mechanical properties. Although SLS 3D printing was previously restricted to bulky and expensive machines, recent advancements have led to the development of more affordable and compact SLS machines. There are now a handful of desktop SLS 3D printers on the market, and even industrial-sized machines have become relatively inexpensive compared to traditional digital fabrication techniques. The...

You might be riding the Third Wave coffee and tea movement if you can discuss the

You might be riding the Third Wave coffee and tea movement if you can discuss the aromatic nuances and mouthfeel of your preferred region of coffee bean or tea leaf, if you’ve made your own cold brew at home, or if you own anything decorative that extols the virtues (and necessity) of coffee or tea. Even if you’re not a proud coffee/tea snob, we know you jones for your java, and to a lesser extent, your leaves. Over half of U.S. adults (64 percent) drink at least one cuppa joe per day, according to National Coffee Association research released in 2018. While not as popular as coffee in the U.S., tea consumption continues to grow, and in 2017, one survey showed that 43 percent of U.S. consumers drank at least 1 cup of tea each day. We wonder how many of those might’ve been matcha lattes (or, let’s be honest, Instagram-inspired detox teas). Brewing Interest12 Coffee Products You Never Knew You NeededWhen it comes to coffee, you may grind your own beans and use the pour-over method or go the French press route. Some of you are loyal to Starbucks, while others traipse to your neighborhood cafe for your daily blend—or simply switch on your auto-drip coffee maker for a couple basic, g...

A Look at Every Single Britt’s Pick Jewel From 2018

It’s the most cliché thing I can possibly say in the intro sentence to a year-end blog roundup, but: I can’t believe this year is nearly over. I really can’t. This was such a big year for me personally, and the rate at which it has flown by is more evident than it has ever been before. Because this year, rather than measuring time by how many new destinations we’ve visited, or who and what I saw at JCK Las Vegas, I’ve been watching my daughter grow. And it’s all been passing by far, far too quickly. So while I welcome the new adventures—and jewels!—2019 will surely bring, I lament the passing of this year only for the sentimental reason that I just want to grasp onto these moments and hold them tight for as long as possible, because this time next year will come up as quickly as they all do (and I’ll most certainly be saying, “Wow, can’t believe it’s almost 2020!”). So if you’ll permit me a stroll down memory lane, I’ll take you through the Britt’s Picks that made my year shine bright (my consistent Tuesday feature, broken with only while the wonderful Kristin Young held down the fort for me while I was on maternity leave). What a year for jewelry it’s been. Thanks, as always, ...

Kerf Developments explains the latest advances in plasma cutting

Although a well-established technology for cutting sheet metal, plasma cutting can seem overshadowed by lasers. However, the latest advances from Kerf Developments demonstrate that this process can compete, not only in cutting speed and quality but importantly on cost as well. Ed Hill reports. The systems for cutting sheet metal have evolved into a diverse range of processes over the years, but in recent times the power of lasers seems to have become the most widespread technology amongst many operators in this sector of manufacturing. A key factor in the adoption of the laser process is the speed and quality of cut it can provide; however, lasers are an expensive capital investment, running costs can be high (particularly with the CO2 variants) and they can struggle with thicker materials. So are there more cost-effective solutions available? One company leading the way in advancing plasma cutting technology is Rochdale-based Kerf Developments. Founded in 2002 by Dan Taylor, the company began as a service and support company repairing oxy-fuel, plasma and waterjet cutting machines. After a few years of growing the business, and establishing a reputation for excellent support, K...

Memorial Day Deals: Extra 25% Off on Car Accessories, Dash Cams, Wireless Chargers, and More

Preparing for a road trip? Make your excursion as memorable as possible with these innovative accessories for your ride. And, you can save an additional 15 percent off the purchase price of each this Memorial Day weekend when you use the code WEEKEND15 at checkout. Find yourself looking down at your phone while driving? If so, you could be putting your life in danger. Reduce the risk of being in an accident with the Hudway Cast. This safety-conscious device sits on your dash and wirelessly displays data from your smartphone — such as driving directions — so you’ll keep your eyes on the road where they belong. Give power to practically any device while on the road with the BESTEK Power Inverter. Simply slide it into your car’s cup holder, plug it into a 12V socket, and enjoy up to 200W of power to run a whole host of devices including computers, tablets, and smartphones. Engineered with elite-level technology, the GoSafe 366 Dash Cam can capture fantastic video even in low-light conditions. And, since it features a dual camera system, you can record the front and rear of your vehicle simultaneously. Minimize the inconvenience of a dead car battery and get back on the road quickl...

Derek Lowe’s commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry. An editorially independent blog from the

Derek Lowe’s commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry. An editorially independent blog from the publishers of Science Translational Medicine. All content is Derek’s own, and he does not in any way speak for his employer. I last wrote about the situation with Catalyst Pharmaceuticals here last December when Firdapse, their drug for Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome, was approved by the FDA. If you know the story, though (or follow the links in that post) you’ll see that referring to it as “their drug” is a rather legalistic way of looking at things. Firdapse is 3,4-diaminopyridine, and it’s been used as a therapy for LEMS for many years. It was, in fact, provided free to the (few) patients with the disease by a small company called Jacobus Pharmaceuticals, until Catalyst saw a regulatory opportunity and hopped in with a chance to take an old generic compound and get marketing exclusivity by taking it through the modern FDA process. Whereupon they announced a price of $375,000 for the treatment. This has caused a great deal of uproar, and it should, but in that December post I laid a good chunk of the blame right on the FDA for allowing this sort of thing to happ...

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Now is the perfect time to get yourself new luggage, suitcases, and bags before all of

Now is the perfect time to get yourself new luggage, suitcases, and bags before all of your summer trips and getaways begin. If your go-to suitcase has seen better days and you simply can’t wait until Prime Day or Black Friday to get yourself a new one, we have good news: Now is officially the best time to score a discount on some of Amazon’s best-selling luggage and travel gear thanks to its Memorial Day sale. This weekend you’ll find plenty of impressive Amazon discounts on travel essentials like luggage, backpacks, and packing cubes, and we rounded up all the best deals you need to know about right here. With savings up to 40 percent and many popular brands and products included, you’re bound to find exactly what you need just in time for your upcoming summer trips and getaways. And in case you don’t see what you’re looking for here, you can always browse Amazon’s Daily Deals lineup, which updates throughout the day, or peruse its luggage department for even more savings. Ready to shop? Here are some of the best luggage and packing essential deals you can score this Memorial Day weekend. While owners love its classic and elegant look as well as its faux leather accents, they ...

The latest market evaluation report on the Bio Fertilizer market explores how the Low Bio Fertilizer

The latest market evaluation report on the Bio Fertilizer market explores how the Low Bio Fertilizer market will continue to expand for the forecast period 2019 – 2025. The study further serves as a unique research for stakeholders, product owners, and field marketing executives looking for actionable data and unique resource on market size, share, and growth. The market intelligence report gives business evangelists an authority to review the major trends, opportunities, and challenges expected to shape the future of the industry during the estimated period. Importantly, the study not only helps spot the major vendors but also their winning strategies. The real-time data accumulated through qualitative and quantitative research technique further help business owners determine where they stand in comparison to their region, country, and product category. The report discovers market’s total sale that is generated by a particular firms over a time period. Industry experts calculate share by taking into account the product sales over a period and then dividing it by the overall sales of the Bio Fertilizer industry over a defined period. Subject matter experts further use this metri...

Head to Head Review: SHIMIZU CORP/ADR (SHMUY) vs. DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR (OTCMKTS:DNLMY)

DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR (OTCMKTS:DNLMY) and SHIMIZU CORP/ADR (OTCMKTS:SHMUY) are both mid-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their profitability, institutional ownership, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation and dividends. DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR pays an annual dividend of $0.17 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.5%. SHIMIZU CORP/ADR pays an annual dividend of $0.34 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.0%. DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR pays out 31.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. SHIMIZU CORP/ADR pays out 8.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. This table compares DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR and SHIMIZU CORP/ADR’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation. SHIMIZU CORP/ADR has higher revenue and earnings than DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR. SHIMIZU CORP/ADR is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks. DUNELM GRP PLC/ADR has a beta of 0.78, ...

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