On the Hunt: Studying Insect-Killing Worms in Space

ISS BLOG 360: December 10, 2019 By Anne Wainscott-Sargent Experiments Hope to Bolster Nematodes’ Killer Instincts to Protect Crops At a Glance An ISS National Lab investigation from biotechnology startup Pheronym, in collaboration with the USDA, will examine how microgravity affects beneficial nematodes—tiny worms with bacteria in their gut that kill crop-harming insects. A recent study found nematodes exposed to Pheronym’s patented pheromone extract were 28 percent to 78 percent more effective in controlling pecan weevils and black soldier flies than nonexposed nematodes. Improving the pheromone’s efficacy could give growers a better tool to protect crops while reducing broad-spectrum chemical insecticide use. In addition to benefitting crops on Earth, these… Read More

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Nematodes successfully launched into space for first-ever agricultural bio-control experiment on ISS

Hard working beneficial nematodes are finally on their way to the International Space Station   It’s a scientist’s dream come true.” — Dr. Fatma Kaplan, Project Director and CEO of Pheronym MERRITT ISLAND, FL, UNITED STATES, December 8, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Pheronym, a bio-ag-tech pest control company, announced today that its first-ever agricultural bio-control experiment featuring beneficial nematodes is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory after a successful launch today at the Kennedy Space Center. The nematodes were on a SpaceX Falcon9 rocket on December 5, 2019, launching the 21st Dragon spacecraft mission on its 19th commercial resupply delivery flight to the ISS. The science will focus on… Read More

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Podcast: Nematodes in Space

We thank Tim Hammerich for preparing  this amazing podcast for AstroNematodes. Interview with Dr. Fatma Kaplan and Cameron Schiller, founders of Pheronym, which is an agricultural biotech company that provides safe, non-toxic, and innovative solutions to solve numerous agricultural problems. They also recently become involved in the development of space nematodes under the project AstroNematode. AstroNematode seeks to establish interstellar agriculture for Earth. The first agriculture biocontrol experiment will launch on December 4, 2019, and provide data to pave the way for sustainable agriculture on and outside of Earth. How the project got started and where they found funding. The best qualities of the project and what it can provide data scientists.… Read More

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Podcast: Real Meat Without the Animal

Future of Agriculture Podcast Host, Tim Hammerich, interviewed Mr. Mike selden who is the Co-founder and CEO of Finless foods. a startup that aims for a more sustainable future through advanced cellular agriculture technologies. Their projects revolve around growing fish meat and other seafood products from cells. Mike is a trained biochemist and has experience working as a researcher and educator. He also has researched numerous ways to solve food crises in Africa as well as marine conservation in South East Asia. “We’re growing it directly from the cells, so no whole animals are needed after that first initial sample.” – Mike Selden Explaining the case for cell-grown meat and why it’s exciting.… Read More

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Podcast: Synthetic Biology

Future of Agriculture Podcast Host, Tim Hammerich, interviewed Dr. John Cumbers who is the founder of SynBioBeta. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry from Brown University, his MSc in Bioinformatics from Edinburgh University, and a degree in Computer Science with Information Engineering from the University of Hull. He explains what SynBioBeta stands for, what they want to accomplish, and the innovations we can look forward to as consumers. He shares his thoughts on lab-grown meat, the Anti-GMO crowds, and the future of Mars exploration. John also discusses what we can look forward to from their Beta Space Event.  Listen podcast “Synthetic biology is not actually what you do – it’s… Read More

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