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asahi shimbun | Startup grows sea alga to slash greenhouse gas in cattle burps
Sunshiki Co. plans to commercialize the method created by a team of researchers primarily from Kochi University. The researchers found that certain seaweed added to the diets of cattle slashes greenhouse gas emissions in the bovines' belches.
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Belches of ruminant animals, including cattle, account for an estimated 5 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions around the world. A red alga species called Asparagopsis taxiformis found around the Japanese archipelago and elsewhere in the Pacific is seen as an effective countermeasure. Research abroad showed that when the alga is mixed into the cattle's feed, their methane emissions were reduced by more than 90 percent.
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Demand for fodder with methane-reducing effects is so high that one estimate projects the market scale for such products will reach 300 billion yen ($1.96 billion) in 2030.
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asahi shimbun | More cities to sell precious metals extracted from ashes of the dead
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Tajimi [Gifu Prefecture] is among a growing number of municipalities implementing similar initiatives, with some generating annual sales revenues exceeding 200 million yen ($1.28 million). However, other municipalities remain hesitant to adopt this approach due to ethical considerations.

Bereaved families typically collect only a small portion of their loved ones' cremated remains. The uncollected ashes may contain gold, silver, palladium, and other precious metals from teeth, artificial joints, and implanted medical devices.

Despite some criticism, Tajimi has decided to proceed with its plan to extract and sell these precious metals from cremated human ashes. The decision was made following a survey conducted in February, which found that 95 percent of the 562 randomly selected citizens were either in favor of or somewhat in favor of the initiative. Tajimi will commission metal refiners to extract precious metals from uncollected ashes. The city will then auction off the extracted metals.
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by Cat on Wed May 8th, 2024 at 06:53:15 PM EST
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