6 Stories

During WWI, Moss Was a Literal Lifesaver

Because 90% of its cells are dead, it absorbs twice as much liquid as cotton

(Newser) - Within 18 months of World War I beginning, cotton was a big problem for the Allies: They didn't have enough of it. And because it was used to dress battlefield wounds, that made the situation a life-threatening one. Doctors found their answer in moss, reports Smithsonian magazine in a... More »

The World Has Entirely Too Much Cotton

Farmers could really use a mass run on T-shirts right about now

(Newser) - Cotton may be the fabric of our lives, but what happens we have way too much of it? Bloomberg reports there is currently enough cotton sitting in warehouses around the world to make 17 T-shirts for every person on Earth. And that's bad news for cotton producers and investors... More »

10 Things That Are Really Expensive Right Now

Used cars and frozen turkeys aren't as cheap as they used to be...

(Newser) - With the economy still suffering, demand for goods has been generally low. This, paired with low availability in many cases, has forced the prices of a number of goods to inch toward new highs. 24/7 Wall Street lists 10 products that are at or near their all-time greatest costs:
  1. Turkey:
... More »

One Serving of Cotton, Please; Hold the Poison

Genetic engineering unlocks protein that could feed millions

(Newser) - Scientists have developed a novel genetic engineering technique that makes the protein-rich seeds of the cotton plant easily edible, Time reports. The entire plant, including the seeds, produces a toxic chemical called gossypol that protects it from insects and microbes. “People, pigs, chickens—none of us can stomach gossypol,... More »

Line by Line: Some Obama Budget Cuts

(Newser) - President Obama said today proposed budget cuts are “not a criticism of” federal workers. Still, they take a toll, from defense to education. The Washington Post takes a look at what’s being trimmed:
  • Anthrax vaccine research: The administration says the goals of the program have been met, and
... More »

Is Your Castoff Their Cross?

$1B in Western clothes flood poorer nations and may undercut businesses

(Newser) - When you gave away last year's clothes, you probably didn't think that poor nations would pay big bucks for them. Yet castoffs are a $1 billion business, the Spectator reports, and may be threatening African cotton growers by flooding their nascent markets. Oxfam argues that its castoffs create jobs—washers,... More »

6 Stories