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Pesticides: even low doses harmful

For many pollutants such as pesticides, the legislator has set threshold values. Below these limits, exposure is considered harmless. However, this does not seem to apply to many living organisms, including humans, as ecotoxicologists at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) have now been able to show. Even concentrations that are up to 10,000 times below today's threshold values are problematic for sensitive individuals, the researchers report in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".


Tackling plant disease in rice

In many countries of the world, rice is a staple food. Small farmers, especially in South Asia and Africa, live from the cultivation of this important crop. However, their livelihood and food security are threatened by the plant disease bacterial blight. This is caused by the pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). In India alone, the bacterium causes annual harvest losses worth around 3.6 billion dollars.


Einbuße bei Reisernten erwartet

Reis ist für mehr als die Hälfte der Menschheit das wichtigsten Grundnahrungsmittel. Doch sein Ertragspotenzial wurde bislang überschätzt. Deutsche und britische Forscher warnen in einer neuen Studie, dass infolge des Klimawandels die Erträge bis zum Ende des Jahrhunderts dramatisch einbrechen könnten.  An der im Fachjournal „Nature Communications“ veröffentlichten Untersuchung waren Experten der Universitäten Tübingen, Bayreuth und Stanford beteiligt.


Insects disappear faster than suspected

That insect decline and species extinction are a fact has been shown by numerous national and international studies. Now German scientists are once again drawing attention to the loss of species with a large-scale biodiversity study. A research team led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has come to the conclusion that the decline of insects in Germany is even more extensive than previously assumed. "Previous studies [...] either focused exclusively on biomass, i.e. the total weight of all insects, or on individual species or species groups.

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