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Harnessing Plant Microbiomes for Sustainable Agriculture

@nathan This article should interest you!

The abstract describes something akin to a fecal transplant for humans. Identifying the complex interactions in microbiomes is an incredibly difficult task, but we can start by focusing on the best microbiomes and the organisms and environments present in said biomes. Determining how these microbiomes work will allow us to synthetically recreate said environments.

Semi-related article: Chasing Ecological Interactions

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Why do we need to synthetically recreate environments? Why don’t we just cultivate and foster the natural environments. The industrial agriculture PR machine is strong!

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One of the bigger issues IMO is that we barely understand the complex interactions in our own personal biome, let alone the complexity of the natural ecosystem and the intricate relationships therein. Just focusing on bacteria for example misses the incredibly complex relationships with fungi, insects, mammals and birds and more. The scientific reductionist method fails to include all the elements we don’t understand and if we look at the littered space of scientific brilliance turned environmental disaster our history should give us a second to pause before we constantly rush off to the ‘newest and best’ scientific application of technology. for eg. DDT was great - except it killed all the insects, birds etc and caused massive environmental and humanitarian health impacts, Glyphosate and GMO’s are wonderful, but their application and crop processes and again radically altered ecosystems, destroyed soil health and potentially has had many more impacts, Antibiotics are brilliant except we abused them with excessive use in livestock production and now we have a looming crisis of massive antibiotic resistance. We are the guinea pigs for the industrialized agriculture and pharmaceutical machine. Frankly I don’t believe that that kind of science will save us.

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