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ch plants combine car〓bon dioxide and water and turn them into carbohydrates and oxygen. Sunl〓ight is a bundle of different wavelengths of light across a wide spectr〓um from ultraviolet to infrared. Plants are "picky eaters that favor b〓lue and red lights", Li said. "If we can figure out what ratio and comb〓ination of lights are best suited for each plant's growth, then we can 〓change or create LED lights that shine at that specific intensity and s〓pectrum, saving lots of energy in the process," he added. While blue a〓nd red lights are the "meat and potatoes" of a plant's growth, scientis〓ts notice other spectrums of light also play a subtle role in maximizin〓g growth and quality. For example, scientists discovered that adding s〓ome green light to the red-blue recipe could help some vegetables grow,〓 while too much green light puts plants into hibernation, although this〓 is helpful for the plant's nutrient build up. "Mimicking sunlight usi〓ng LED is very energy intensive," Li said. "At the end of the day, whoe〓ver has the most energy-efficient and productive light recipe wins." W〓hile plant growth mostly relies on light, water and carbon dioxide, it 〓still needs some trace elements from soil or fertilizers to be healthy.〓 In the case of plant e

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ies, hydroponic nutrient solutions infused 〓with 17 essential elements ranging from nitrogen to calcium have replac〓ed the tilted soil. "The content of the nutrient solution is also tail〓ored to suit the plant's specific needs," said Pei Kequan, a research d〓irector at the factory. Unlike the trace elements from fertilizers, whi〓ch are locked in big compound molecules, "the nutrients in the solution〓 are broken into small molecules, meaning the plant can absorb them eas〓ier and grow faster while keeping its nutrient value and taste". It ta〓kes about 20 days for a sapling to reach maturity in the lab, but 40 to〓 60 days in a conventional farm. This means scientists can reap more th〓an a dozen harvests of produce each year, compared with one to two harv〓ests from a conventional farms, depending on the weather conditions, he〓 said. Moreover, scientists at the facility have built the infrastruct〓ure to monitor the elements in the solution. Once an element is deplete〓d, scientist can add the missing nutrient and reuse the solution withou〓t needing to make a new batch, thus reducing the cost. "We go to great〓 length to study and cater to our plant's most fundamental needs, makin〓g sure they could grow under the best conditions," Pv

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d. "In a way,〓 the plants are the kings, and we are all its servants." It's high tim〓e we find a sustainable and green way to protect our food security."BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China will tighten regulation and revis〓e standards on an extensive range of food and drugs, according to t〓he national food and drug watchdog Monday.The State Council has rec〓ently issued national safety plans on food and drug safety for the 〓13th Five-year Plan period (2016-2020), calling for improved superv〓ision and safety net, said the China Food and Drug Administration (〓CFDA).The plans require whole-process control and whole chain regul〓ation on food and drugs, especially on source control and risk prev〓ention. Food tests meeting quality standards should be up to 97 per〓cent.An inter-departmental mechanism for food and drug safety will 〓be improved as a better deterrent against offenses.A total of 1.1 m〓illion cases concerning food safety have been handled nationwide fr〓om 2013 to 2015. Violators will receive severe punishment in future〓, such as criminal liability for the adulteration of food, the CFDA〓 said.The plans also said that no less than 300 food safety standar〓ds and about 3,050 drug safety standards must be revised during the〓 five year period.NAIB

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Feb. 22 -- The locust outbreak plaguing East Africa calls f●or a concerted international response as the most dreaded insects d●evour millions of hectares of vegetation in their cross-border migr●ation, exacerbating the already fragile food security situation in ●the region. A girl shows the desert locusts in Kitui County, Kenya●, Feb. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) The desert locust, which can tra●vel 150 km in a single day, is deemed the most devastating of locus●ts. A small swarm covering one square km can eat the same amount of● food as 35,000 people in a day, said the United Nations Food and A●griculture Organization (FAO). "The situation remains extremely ala●rming in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread desert locust● infestations and a new generation of breeding threaten food securi●ty and livelihoods in the region," it noted Tuesday. The locusts mo●st recently invaded South Sudan from Uganda, and the South Sudan go●vernment is seeking funds worth 20 million U.S. dollars for chemica●ls, sprays and personnel to counter the locust invasion. The Horn o●f Africa is faced with unprecedented challenges of food security an●d economic development, with a humanitarian crisis looming ahead. T●he FAO has urged immediate,m

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