January 4, 2008

I wanna be an Aussie

No..that's not cricketers wishing to be champs like Australian cricketers. It's some scientist's aspirations to make cows be more like Aussie marsupials!
Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming...
(Note: I found this via Prem Panicker's creatively titled blog, Smoke Signals, where he and a bunch of his friends blog regularly about cricket and occasionally about other delightful things like this from around the world.

I had read that cow farts have been blamed for causing more harm than automobile emissions in terms of contribution to global warming...but this is hilarious! I had to tag this under Science & Environment but also under Humor! :)

RELATED patent:
Why stop cow farts when you can catch them? According to inventor Markus Herrema, Cow "exhaust" accounts for "about twenty percent of total global methane emissions, and atmospheric methane accounts for about twenty percent of planetary warming." Markus has solved this dire problem with a backpack that collects the methane from both ends of the animal and "utilizes the methane contained within ruminant animal exhalation as a source of carbon and/or energy for the production of methane-utilizing microorganisms in a microorganism growth-and-harvest apparatus."- feeds it to microbes to make biomass, which "can be processed and sold as a nutritional foodstuff". Yum!
Earlier research:
Fourteen percent, yep that’s 14%, of global methane gas emissions are from the intestines of farm animals. So there has been a race to find a way to reduce the level of cattle flatulence. And now it looks like scientists in Aberdeen, Scotland might breast the tape ahead of their compadres in Australia and New Zealand. Their tests indicate a possible 70% reduction in methane emissions, through a naturally occurring chemical food additive, based on fumaric acid. A year of further trials to commercialise the process has commenced. Can a human version for bean eaters be far behind? Via ABC Online

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