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Downsizing with impact

Technology

Vitamins can’t be seen with the naked eye, but they are still good for our bodies.

According to a study conducted at the University of Göttingen, some microbes – the tiniest of organisms – could be good for the environment.

In special plants, single-cell proteins could produce biomass, which, once converted to powder form, might serve as a rich source of protein for animals, perhaps even humans.

As part of this process CO2 is obtained directly from the air and, using a solar-powered bioreactor, converted to food for the microbes through electrosynthesis.

Compared with, say, soybeans, farms like this need significantly less surface area, and water. As for fertilizer? Simply not required.

The concept could even work in the desert.

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