The Daily Dose: Your Guide to the World Today – 6 August 09

Your daily dose may be limited in future – if you drink coffee, that is. The world’s most valuable tropical agricultural export grows in a fairly narrow climatic range and is already impacted by climate change. Coffee plantations will soon need to move to maintain harvests – but face stiff competition from other crops already grown where they might want to go.

Around 1,500 tons of hazardous waste which arrived in Brazil from the UK labelled as recyclable plastic is on its way back, authorities have said. Three men have been arrested in Britain in connexion with the shipments.  

The US Senate has rescued the “cash for clunkers” initiative – which sees up to $4500 in rebates paid to people trading-in old vehicles for new efficient ones – with an injection of $2 billion. The initial $1.5b fund was quickly used up last month.

A new drought-resistant strain of rice, called sahbhagi dhan, may be just the thing to allow farmers to get through the increasingly late and eccentric monsoons with a crop intact. Rice is traditionally a water-intensive crop, but the variety can withstand a dry spell of 10 to 12 days, researchers report.  

Michigan is to be the hub of America’s push to develop and refine batteries for hybrids and electric cars, with $US1.36 billion out of a total federal fund of $2.4 billion granted to automakers and other companies in the state.

Odd Spot:  Israeli scientists are test-driving a computer made from DNA, and say it can solve quite complex logic conundrums. The intent is to develop biological computers that can go into a living organism and report back on what they find inside cells.

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  • Posted on Aug. 6, 2009. Listed in:

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