Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First soybeans grown in space return to Earth

22.10.2002


In unprecedented space research, DuPont scientists have attained a significant scientific accomplishment regarding the future development of soybeans – one of the most consumed crops in the world today.


Last May, scientists Bruce Link and Guillermo Tellez prepared soybean seeds to be sent to the International Space Station


DuPont scientist Tom Corbin and University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist Weijia Zhou examine the harvested plants after the 97-day experiment



During a research mission that concluded with the return of Space Shuttle Atlantis Friday, soybean seeds planted and nurtured by DuPont scientists germinated, developed into plants, flowered, and produced new seedpods in space. The 97-day growth research initiative is the first-ever to complete a major crop growth cycle in space – from planting seeds to growing new seeds. The research mission aboard the International Space Station demonstrates that space crop production can be accomplished, potentially supporting long-term human presence in space. Through video monitoring and data sent from the International Space Station, DuPont scientists also examined the effects of zero-gravity and other elements in space regarding plant growth.

The soybeans returned to Earth Friday afternoon aboard the Atlantis. In June, DuPont subsidiary, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., with the Wisconsin Center for Space Automation and Robotics (WCSAR) -- a NASA Commercial Space Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison -- launched the soybean seed experiment on Space Shuttle Endeavour. As part of the research mission, Pioneer-brand soybean seeds grew in a specialized tray within a growth chamber developed by WCSAR. Pioneer scientists monitored the soybeans’ growth daily and provided nutrient adjustments to facilitate growth.


With the soybeans and seeds now on Earth, Pioneer and WCSAR will analyze the harvested seeds to determine if they have improved oil, protein, carbohydrates or secondary metabolites that could benefit farmers and consumers. Seeds exhibiting unique and desirable qualities will be planted by Pioneer scientists to determine if the traits can be inherited in future generations. Pioneer will identify the genetics of those traits and use that information to further improve the soybeans’ efficiency and profitability for farmers.

According to the United Soybean Board, soybeans are the largest single source of protein meal and vegetable oil in the human diet. Domestically, soybeans provide 80 percent of the edible consumption of fats and oils in the United States. In 2000, 54 percent of the world’s soybean trade originated from the United States with soybean and product exports totaling more than $6.6 billion. The world’s largest seed company, Pioneer, is the brand leader in soybeans with more than 100 product varieties on the market.

"This was an incredible scientific opportunity for us and our partners," said Dr. Tom Corbin, DuPont researcher on the project. "Studying the effects of soybean plants grown in space will help us expand our knowledge of soybeans and facilitate continued improvement of soybean germplasm for farmers."

DuPont has a rich tradition of space initiatives, dating to NASA’s origination 33 years ago. For example, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969, he wore 25 separate layers – 23 of those layers were DuPont materials. In 1984, Pioneer corn seeds were on board a Challenger shuttle launch. The seeds, which were not planted while in space, were used in science-based initiatives after returning to Earth.

"Innovation has been the hallmark of DuPont for more than 200 years," said Chief Science and Technology Officer Dr. Thomas M. Connelly. "As a science company, we know that future research opportunities may come from totally different venues and needs as we look ahead. The discovery process often requires exploring in unprecedented avenues to unleash the next wave of innovation and we are committed to discovering new and meaningful innovation wherever it is."

WCSAR makes space available to industry in the interest of development and commercialization of new products and processes. It provides controlled environment technologies and facilities, plant genetic transformation technologies, enhanced biosynthesis technologies, as well as robotic and automated technologies.

During 2002, DuPont is celebrating its 200th year of scientific achievement and innovation — providing products and services that improve the lives of people everywhere. Based in Wilmington, Del., DuPont delivers science-based solutions for markets that make a difference in people’s lives in food and nutrition; health care; apparel; home and construction; electronics; and transportation. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., a subsidiary of DuPont, is the world’s leading source of customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers, and grain and oilseed processors. With headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Pioneer provides access to advanced plant genetics, crop protection solutions and quality crop systems to customers in nearly 70 countries.

Anthony Farina | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dupont.com/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Microalgae food for honey bees
12.05.2020 | US Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service

nachricht Global trade in soy has major implications for the climate
07.05.2020 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium AWK'21 will take place on June 10 and 11, 2021

07.04.2020 | Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 5G switch provides 50 times more energy efficiency than currently exists

27.05.2020 | Information Technology

Return of the Blob: Surprise link found to edge turbulence in fusion plasma

27.05.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Upwards with the “bubble shuttle”: How sea floor microbes get involved with methane reduction in the water column

27.05.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>