Using Bacteria to Grow Food | Innovation Nation

Using Bacteria to Grow Food | Innovation Nation


three teenage girls in Ireland used
their science savvy to help find a complex solution that will help meet a
very basic human need how to feed the world now 17 years old when Sophie Healy-Thow Ciara Judge and Émer Hickey were just 14 they set out on a
scientific journey that would take them three years down the road from a project
and a dream in a home-based lab to becoming the winners of the esteemed
Google science fair and like every good idea it all started by planting a seed
well 10,000 of them and finding a way to grow those seeds into life saving crops
faster hey there thanks for joining us hi Mo why was it important for you to
speed up the germination process of certain crops when cops are in the soil
and they’re dormant in adverse weather conditions they’re actually very likely
to rot also we have found research to suggest that when fertilizer directly
touches seeds it can have a negative effect so if we can speed up the
germination and get plants growing quicker less plants will be lost due to
adverse weather conditions and also due to fertilizers effecting their growth the teens
had very little science background when they started and what would become an
extraordinary scientific breakthrough began in a pretty ordinary way Émer and
her mom were gardening and they pulled up a pea plant and they saw on the roots
of these pea plants there were these like little wart like nodules our
science teacher actually told us about this type of bacteria the naturally lives
in the soil that works with legume plants like peas and beans and we
decided to do some research into this bacteria they tried applying the
bacteria called rhizobium not to peas and beans where the bacteria is found
naturally but instead to oats barley and wheat and after three years of work they
realized they had made a huge breakthrough when we applied the
bacteria to the seeds we found that we increased their germination rate by fifty
percent and then also we increased our dry mass yield by up to seventy four percent so it has massive implications what’s the impact that you want this research
to have on the world hopefully by starting at the bottom starting with the
ground and producing more raw materials we’ll be able to increase the amount of
food that’s available for people especially in the developing world there
is so many people out there who don’t have enough food just to get by in their
everyday lives so we were hoping to just be part of like a massive puzzle that
could try and relieve these people of the pain that they go through of not
having enough food well thank you we all wish you the best thanks Mo

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