Phosphorus is a key ingredient in fertilizer used to grow our food, but the supply is finite and shortages could disrupt our food chain. Arizona State University professors James Elser and Bruce Rittmann have recommended a three-part solution to this looming crisis, which involves recovering phosphorus from agricultural and human waste. Elser and Rittman will discuss their proposal.
Phosphorus is getting harder to find, which makes it difficult to maintain current agricultural advances. The Phosphorus Sustainability Research Coordination Network, a global gathering of researchers and stakeholders, met in Washington, D.C. recently. Arizona State University researcher and RCN lead investigator James Elser was at the event, and will talk about phosphorus, a dwindling nutrient essential for food growth.
All known life on earth requires phosphorus as an essential nutrient. However, the discovery of a bacteria that uses the normally toxic element of arsenic instead of phosphorus is changing thoughts on what life on other planets might need to exist. A NASA-funded research team made the announcement about the new life on earth, and Arizona State University professors Paul Davies and Ariel Anbar co-authored the paper on the discovery. Both talk about their findings.