Yep, the Earth is still round, Neil deGrasse Tyson says
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Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson wants everyone to know that the world is round. (National Geographic Channel)
"So, tell me, Neil, is the Earth flat?" Nice said to open the conversation.
"What's odd," Tyson continued, "is there are people who think that Earth is flat but recognize that the moon is round. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and the sun are all spheres. But Earth is flat ... something doesn't square here."
Tyson explained that because of the laws of physics and the way energy works, the universe "favors the sphere" when forming planets and other bodies. Sometimes, a sphere might be distorted because it's rotating very fast. But almost everything in the universe, he added, is spherical or almost spherical.
Tyson did not address asteroids, which are small bodies of ice and rock and are irregularly shaped. It is widely recognized, however, that these asteroids have a gravity too low to pull their mass into a sphere. Worlds orbiting the sun that do have spherical bodies are sometimes called planets, but only if they meet certain criteria set by the International Astronomical Union.
Tyson was similarly outspoken in the new StarTalk video. He said there are people in the U.S. who believe in a flat Earth for two reasons: the country protects free speech, and its educational system doesn't teach students to think critically about the evidence.
Or think about a ship sailing toward the horizon, Tyson said — it gradually disappears, because the Earth is curved. Or, he said, if he were to send co-host Nice on a journey around the Earth, Tyson could turn his chair 180 degrees and eventually see Nice arriving back where the comedian had started. (Nice quipped that would take him 150 years to accomplish the trip, because "I'm no Forrest Gump. It would take me that long to run the Earth.")
There are two possible explanations for that observation, Tyson added. The first is that the Earth is flat and has a small sun, close to the planet. The second is that the Earth is curved, with a sun further from the planet. But if you were to extend the argument to three wells, there's no way a flat Earth's geometry would fit the experiment's results, he added.
So, what if people still believe the Earth is flat?
"That's OK," Tyson quipped, "as long as you don't run NASA."
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March 13, 2018
or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p><p>Raw video: The storm's powerful winds damaged homes, uprooted trees.</p><p>Now, parts of Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas are at risk for severe weather, which may include tornadoes.</p><p>Read on for a look at why tornadoes occur and what to do if you’re caught in one.</p><p>Essentially, a tornado is a column of “rapidly rotating air that comes from a powerful, towering thunderstorm” also known as a supercell, Janice Dean, Fox News’ Senior Meteorologist, said in an email.</p><p>"Peak tornado" season hits the South in March and ends around May, the Virginia Department of Transportation says on its website. The severe weather pattern usually makes its way north, with the majority of tornadoes hitting northern states over the summer.</p><p>"But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4 to 9 p.m.," NOAA adds.</p><p>Tornadoes are more likely to pop up around the spring and fall, "when warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico pushes into a colder air mass from Canada," Dean explained. "Large thunderstorms often form when these air masses collide and a whirling, rotating funnel-shaped column of air can form inside these storms and then connect with the ground."</p><p>But if they do form, “they have a high propensity to produce severe weather, including damaging winds, very large hail, and sometimes weak to violent tornadoes,” according to the NWS.</p><p>While tornadoes are "spawned by strong thunderstorms, not all strong thunderstorms end up predicting tornadoes," Dean said.</p><p>Weather forecasters can't predict which storms will produce tornadoes with 100 percent certainty, but they "can forecast where supercell thunderstorms are likely to develop," Dean explained.</p><p>While tornadoes can form almost anywhere given the right conditions, they commonly touch down in Florida and an area of the U.S. called “tornado alley.”</p><p>Tornado alley, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), is a “nickname given to an area in the southern plains of the central United States that consistently experiences a high frequency of tornadoes each year.”</p><p>“The strongest ones can destroy large buildings, lift trees, and toss cars and trucks around like toys,” Dean said, adding that the average number of tornadoes reported across the U.S. has per year is about 1,200.</p><p>To protect yourself from a tornado, it’s important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning: a watch indicates a tornado could form, or “there are weather conditions that are favorable for tornadoes,” Dean said. A warning means a tornado has already been spotted.</p><p>“The strongest ones can destroy large buildings, lift trees, and toss cars and trucks around like toys." </p><p>It’s important to have an emergency plan before a tornado. This means having enough food and water to last at least three days and to make sure everyone knows where to go before the tornado hits.</p><p>However, if you are not able to reach a safe room during a tornado, it’s best to go to the lowest level of a structure, such as a basement. It is important to stay away from all windows, doors or anything else that leads outside, the Ready Campaign recommends. Wearing a helmet and placing blankets, pillows or even a mattress over your body may protect you from debris if a tornado hits your home or a nearby building.</p><p>If you do not have a basement, Dean also suggests hiding in a closet or bathroom on the ground level.</p><p>“If you can, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, like a table,” she advised, adding that mobile-home owners should seek alternate shelter because they offer little protection.</p><p>“Get out of automobiles. Do not try to outrun a tornado in your car, leave it immediately. If you’re outside, go to a ditch or low-lying area and lie flat in it,” Dean said. “Stay away from fallen power lines and stay out of damaged areas.”</p><p>After a tornado is over, stay indoors until it is safe to come out. </p><p>"Check for injured or trapped people without putting yourself in danger,” Dean said.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p><p> The early Mars ocean known as Arabia (left in blue) would have looked much like this when it formed on the Red Planet 4 billion years ago, when the planet's smaller Deuteronilus ocean was 3.6 billion years old. Their water is now gone, possibly frozen underground or partially lost to space. (Robert Citron images, UC Berkeley) </p><p>However, for Tharsis to change Mars' pole of rotation, this volcanic region would need to have formed far from the equator. In contrast, prior work found that it formed near the equator.</p><p>The scientists modeled what previous research suggested was the first ocean of Mars, called Arabia, as well as a subsequent ocean, called Deuteronilus. They next calculated the effects of the rise of Tharsis on these oceans.</p><p>The scientists found that, if Arabia started forming on Mars at least 4 billion years ago and existed, perhaps intermittently, during as much as the first 20 percent of the growth of Tharsis, the volcanic province could have deformed Arabia's shoreline over time. Similarly, irregularities seen in the shoreline of Deuteronilus could be explained if it formed about 3.6 billion years ago, during the last 17 percent of Tharsis' growth.</p><p>"Massive deformation by Tharsis could explain why these shorelines deviated from a constant elevation," Citron said.</p><p>In addition, these findings suggested that the oceans on ancient Mars were shallower than previously thought. If the seas filled before Tharsis was fully formed — and therefore hadn't deformed the Red Planet crust too much yet — they would have held about half the water of prior estimates, the researchers determined.</p><p>The scientists also suggested that the volcanic eruptions that created Tharsis also generated channels that allowed water to fill the northern plains. This would account for the valley networks seen on Mars.</p><p>To further test these findings, more precise mapping and dating of Tharsis and these ancient shorelines is needed, Citron said. NASA's next Mars lander, InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), which is scheduled for launch in May, will place a seismometer on the surface to probe the Red Planet's interior.</p><p> "It could potentially detect the presence of subsurface frozen water, which could be a remnant of a past ocean," Citron said.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
say they hope to build an even taller air-purifying tower in Xi’an, and possibly in other cities around China.</p><p>In addition to a proposed second tower in Xi’an, which would stand 984 feet tall, there are ongoing discussions about building massive air purifiers in the Chinese cities of Guanzhong, Hebei, and Henan, Cao told NBC News MACH in an email.</p><p>Pui called the towers an important advance in the fight against bad air, saying “I hope that people will realize that this is a really effective and cheap way to solve the PM2.5 problem — and later on, the [carbon dioxide] problem — for the benefit of mankind.”</p><p>Dr. Ming Xu, an associate professor of environmental engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said building air-purifying towers was an interesting idea but cautioned that it may be tricky to determine just how effective the towers are at curbing air pollution.</p><p>There may also be more practical ways of mitigating air pollution, rather than building giant filtration towers, according to Dr. Robert Harley, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, who was also not involved with the Xi’an tower project.</p><p>“Real progress in solving outdoor air pollution problems will require reductions in emissions from the major air pollution sources,” Harley told MACH in an email, “such as heavy industry, coal-burning power plants, motor vehicles, and residential cooking and heating, especially if people are still using solid fuels such as wood or coal for those purposes.”</p>
egulars from rising early on a Saturday, braving winding mountain roads and thick fog, to wade through muddy lake beds, binoculars in-hand, searching.</p><p>“The level of interest is really extraordinary,” said Ann Bowers, a wildlife biologist at the United States Forest Service who has been leading the Lake Hemet count for the past three years.</p><p>“These eagles are more than just a symbol,” she added. “They’re very faithful to their territories, they’re monogamous, they experience the same kind of challenges that we do in some ways.”</p><p>People are eager to see this national icon, if only for a moment, Dr. Bowers said: “Sometimes people get emotional.”</p><p>At this time of year, bald eagles are settling in at lakes like this one across the region. The eagles, which mate for life, are primarily fishers.</p><p>Visitors at six lakes in the San Bernardino National Forest and two California state parks come with notebooks, cameras and spotting scopes. The forest service keeps the public about a quarter mile away from nesting sites; land adjacent is closed off, so that eagles won’t feel threatened and abandon their young.</p><p>On a recent cool morning here, mallards flew overhead, pelicans swam on the lake, coots picked bugs out of the mud, and a lone doe sauntered through tall grass. A half dozen birders looked on as a pair of nesting eagles traded places before stretching their wings over the misty waters, snagging a fish.</p><p>At nearby Big Bear Lake, elementary students and skiers and snowboarders often turn up for the count. Workshops and slide shows mix education with entertainment, and participants get a chance to assist in the field.</p><p>Fifteen years ago, most bald eagles were winter residents, arriving inland during the January through August mating seasons, eagles follow the paths of migratory waterfowl.</p><p>But lately, eagle numbers are a bit down. “In a typical winter, I usually see three to four eagles between my house and work,” said Robin Eliason, the forest service biologist who has led the overall program since 1989. But lately, “I haven’t seen any of those eagles.”</p><p>The decline could be due to warmer winters, she added. Eagles find more prey on these lakes when it’s colder. An onslaught of severe weather hasn’t helped, either: the state has suffered a long drought sandwiched between torrential rain and inland flooding, plus the worst wildfires in California’s 167-year-history.</p><p>Bald eagles are historically more Californian than most Hollywood stars. They were brought to the brink of extinction in the 1970s, victims of the pesticide DDT, which killed thousands of birds.</p><p>Bald eagles nesting at Big Bear Lake, Calif., earlier this year. From left: on Jan. 7, Feb. 13 and March 7.</p><p>Many of the birds here are residents, while others fly in every year to escape winter elsewhere and then leave, which makes them truly snowbirds.</p><p>Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.</p><p>For bird nerds and eagle maniacs interested in seeing these living symbols of American, Dr. Bowers suggests simple tips.</p><p>“Remain at a respectable distance,” she said. “Bald eagles do become agitated when people are close and they’re in breeding season. Have binoculars. It wouldn’t hurt to not wear bright clothing.”</p>
me for a woodland walk on one of spring’s first wet nights. Temperatures hover within a degree or two of freezing, and in the inky blackness, a flashlight illuminates nothing but naked branches and thawing pools of jet black water. But in early March, the first calls of the wood frog are like the creaking sounds of an enormous, primitive machine awakening. These ancient voices make my skin crawl and my heart quicken, but these same sounds may have inspired relief in our ancestors; despite the bleak nights, winter was finally at its end.</p><p>Wood frogs are hardly songsters. Their nasal croaks are best described as resonant, or memorable. They provide a counterpoint to the bell-like clarity of the chorus of spring peepers, which inevitably accompany them. The soft whinnying of screech owls, even the somber hoots of great horned owls, are often a part of this primitive performance. There are few occasions when the elemental vitality of spring is as nakedly exposed.</p><p>Measuring about 3 inches long, and weighing a quarter of an ounce, wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) are woodland wanderers, often traveling long distances between vernal pools. For frogs, they are surprisingly independent of water most of the year, but they are not at all toad-like. Wood frogs have the smooth, thin skin of true frogs, and possess the same long legs. Later in summer, when these frogs are silent, their long leaps are often the only sign they’re present.</p><p>Perhaps the wood frog’s most iconic feature is its dark, raccoon-like mask. It is the only masked frog in the Northeast, and though its cowl is almost a cliché for roaming the city’s dark corners, it must be one of the least intimidating creatures in the forest.</p><p>The wood frog often makes a three- or four-foot leap to escape disturbance. I have often chased these jumpers, only to find they were not where they seemed to land. If you’re fast enough, you’ll observe the trick behind the frog’s hop. Often, just after landing, the animal shuffles under the nearby leaf litter and freezes. If you’re patient, a leaf or two rustles and you find your frog — but this hide-and-seek technique is about as close to a magician’s trick as you’ll find in our local woods.</p><p>Wood frogs are the only frogs that inhabit the cold regions above the Arctic Circle. They can be found throughout Canada and Alaska, and yet their choruses can also be heard in the humble, fragmented woodlands here in the five boroughs.</p>
ach, about the length of a AA battery. Also called the water bug, it can live for a week without its head. It eats just about anything, including feces, the glue on book bindings, and other cockroaches, dead or alive. It can fly short distances and run as fast as the human equivalent of 210 miles per hour, relative to its size.</p><p>In China, the cockroach is often called “xiao qiang,” meaning “little mighty,” said Sheng Li, an entomology professor at South China Normal University in Guangzhou and lead author of the paper. “It’s a tiny pest, but has very strong vitality.”</p><p>His team found that groups of genes associated with sensory perception, detoxification, the immune system, growth and reproduction were all enlarged in the American cockroach, likely underpinning its scrappiness and ability to adapt to human environments.</p><p>Both species, however, succeed worldwide as omnivorous scavengers, and are notoriously adept at dealing with the insecticides and other pest control methods we throw at them. They’re both frequent visitors to homes in the United States, though the German cockroach is slightly more common.</p><p>That generalist lifestyle is reflected in the species’ genomes, both of which are massive, said Coby Schal, an entomology professor at North Carolina State University and an author of the German cockroach study.</p><p> In a survey, scientists found many travelers could not distinguish bedbugs from other pests, which could have implications for hotels and the travel industry. </p><p>Consider, in comparison, more specialized insects like bedbugs or termites. Feasting exclusively on blood, bedbugs no longer need sugar receptors. Most termites, which live in the dark, are blind.</p><p>Cockroaches, on the other hand, need eyes, sugar receptors, ways to survive nasty environments — you name it. As a result, “cockroaches have to have a very large repertoire of proteins, and therefore a lot of genes,” Dr. Schal said.</p><p>In the American cockroach, Dr. Li and collaborators annotated thousands of genes, including more than 1,000 thought to help the insect detect chemical cues from the environment. Among these are more than 300 genes associated with perceiving bitter tastes, which could help them decide which foods are safe.</p><p>Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.</p><p>The scientists also interfered with more than 20 genes thought to be related to immunity, reproduction and development, and found that doing so had damaging effects on the cockroaches.</p><p>In terms of basic biology, comparing the genomes of primitive cockroaches and termites — which evolved from cockroaches — will allow scientists to learn more about eusociality, a rare phenomenon in which organisms cooperate through sophisticated division of labor, said Tanya Dapkey, an entomologist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the new research. Termites evolved eusociality long before other insects like ants and bees.</p><p>For now, Dr. Li is follow up on the American cockroach’s extraordinary healing capabilities: cut a leg off, and the insect will quickly regenerate it.</p><p>His team is identifying the proteins and pathways involved in this process, with the hope that they can be harnessed for medical treatments. Cockroach extract has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to speed healing on cuts and burns.</p><p>“We’ve uncovered the secret of why people call it ‘xiao qiang,’” he said. “Now we want to know the secrets of Chinese medicine.”</p>
or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p><p>Wreckage from the sunken WWII military ship USS Juneau was discovered on March 17, 2018 off the coast of the Solomon Islands by philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's expedition crew on the Research Vessel Petrel.</p><p>The wreck of the USS Juneau, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo and lost 687 sailors in 1942, has been discovered by billionaire Paul Allen’s crew.</p><p>Five brothers from the Sullivan family were famously lost on the USS Juneau. Their story, which attracted widespread attention, was depicted in the 1944 movie “The Fighting Sullivans.” Two USS Navy ships have been named “The Sullivans” in memory of the brothers.</p><p>The USS Juneau was found on St. Patrick’s Day resting on the seafloor near the Solomon Islands. An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) from the research vessel Petrel first identified the wreck using sonar on March 17. The following day, a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) was deployed from Petrel to verify the wreckage, capturing video footage of the Juneau.</p><p>The prop of the USS Juneau resting on the seafloor. (Navigea, R/V Petrel) </p><p>Juneau was sunk on Nov. 13 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal. When a second torpedo hit her port side, an explosion cut the ship in half, killing most of the crew. The light cruiser sank in just 30 seconds. Around 115 of Juneau’s crew are believed to have survived the sinking, including, possibly, two of the Sullivan brothers. However, with U.S. forces concerned about the risk of further Japanese attacks, rescue efforts did not take place until eight days later. Only 10 men were rescued from the water.</p><p>The first ship named after the brothers, USS The Sullivans (DD-537), was commissioned in 1943 and is now a museum ship in Buffalo. The second ship to bear the family name (DDG-68) is in active service as a guided missile destroyer.</p><p>The Sullivan brothers photographed on board the USS Juneau, 14 Feb. 1942 From left to right: Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George Sullivan (Courtesy U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command) </p><p>“As the fifth commanding officer of USS The Sullivans (DDG 68), a ship named after five brothers, I am excited to hear that Allen and his team were able to locate the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL 52) that sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal,” said Vice Adm. Rich Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces, in a statement. “The story of the USS Juneau crew and Sullivan brothers epitomize the service and sacrifice of our nation’s greatest generation.”</p><p>The USS Juneau In New York Harbor, 11 Feb. 1942. (Courtesy the U.S. National Archives) </p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p><p> A powerful atmospheric river could bring multiple inches of rain to central and southern parts of California. (REUTERS/Gene Blevins) </p><p>California residents, brace yourselves: an atmospheric river could bring multiple inches of rain to central and southern parts of the state over the next few days.</p><p>Read on for a look at the meteorological phenomeonon -- and what to expect from the storm. </p><p>An atmospheric river is a huge plume of subtropical moisture. </p><p>“When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow,” according to the agency.</p><p>They may also bring severe precipitation and destruction, though “most are weak systems that often provide beneficial rain or snow that is crucial to the water supply.”</p><p>The NOAA says atmospheric rivers are typically 250 to 375 miles in width. </p><p>Cities in central and southern California could be slammed with rain. The National Weather Service (NWS) is predicting more than seven inches for Ojai and almost six inches for San Luis Obispo from Tuesday morning through Friday morning.</p><p>As many as 30,000 people have been ordered to leave communities by noon on the south coast of Santa Barbara County, where a Jan. 9 deluge unleashed deadly debris flows into Montecito.</p><p>Neighboring Ventura County has taken similar measures amid concerns in adjacent counties.</p><p>Northern California may also be affected by the atmospheric river: the NWS says to expect precipitation to begin Tuesday, with it coming down the hardest from Wednesday to Thursday.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p><p> This photo provided by Johnny Tribble shows a damaged house after a tornado, Tribble said, passed the area in Ardmore, Ala., Monday, March 19, 2018. Severe storms that spawned tornadoes damaged homes and downed trees as they moved across the Southeast on Monday night. (Johnny Tribble via AP) </p><p>Now, parts Florida and coastal communities in Georgia and the Carolinas are at risk for severe weather, which may include tornadoes.</p><p>Read on for a look at why tornadoes occur and what to do if you’re caught in one.</p><p>Essentially, a tornado is a column of air that is rapidly rotating.</p><p>"Peak tornado" season hits the South in March and ends around May, the Virginia Department of Transportation says on its website. The severe weather pattern usually makes its way north, with the majority of tornadoes hitting northern states over the summer.</p><p>"But, remember, tornadoes can happen at any time of year. Tornadoes can also happen at any time of day or night, but most tornadoes occur between 4 to 9 p.m.," NOAA adds.</p><p>But if they do form, “they have a high propensity to produce severe weather, including damaging winds, very large hail, and sometimes weak to violent tornadoes,” according to the NWS.</p><p>While tornadoes can form almost anywhere given the right conditions, they commonly touch down in Florida and an area of the U.S. called “tornado alley.”</p><p>Tornado alley, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), is a “nickname given to an area in the southern plains of the central United States that consistently experiences a high frequency of tornadoes each year.”</p><p>To protect yourself from a tornado, it’s important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning: a watch indicates a tornado could form, while a warning means a tornado has already been spotted, according to the Ready Campaign.</p><p>However, if you are not able to reach a safe room during a tornado, it’s best to go to the lowest level of a structure, such as a basement. It is important to stay away from all windows, doors or anything else that leads outside, the Ready Campaign recommends. Wearing a helmet and placing blankets, pillows or even a mattress over your body may protect you from debris if a tornado hits your home or a nearby building. </p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
ink a beer without hops?</p><p>Charles Denby, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley, might have made it an option. Dr. Denby works in a lab that focuses on creating sustainable fuel out of plant molecules called terpenes. But he is also “a very enthusiastic home brewer,” he said. When he learned that some terpenes could, in small doses, impart the taste of hops — the small, green flowers that give beer its bitter, citrusy flavor — he decided to perform a side experiment.</p><p>Dr. Denby and his colleagues infused brewer’s yeast with DNA from basil and mint, two plants that naturally produce the hop-flavored terpenes. The scientists were aiming to recreate the flavor of Cascade hops, which are most popular among craft brewers. They used the engineered yeast to brew a hops-free ale.</p><p>“The real challenge of the study was to produce strains that produce flavor molecules at the right concentrations without sacrificing other aspects of the brewing yeast performance,” said Dr. Denby.</p><p>Once they perfected the formula, the tasting began.</p><p>“To me, it tasted distinctively hoppy, and not unlike a beer hopped with Cascade,” said Dr. Denby.</p><p>Wanting a more objective analysis, the researchers asked Lagunitas Brewing Company in California to help them convene a double-blind taste test involving 40 participants. When asked to compare the brew’s hoppiness relative to traditionally brewed beers, the participants placed it above most of the competition. “We were really excited to see that some of our strains produced flavors that were hoppier than conventionally dry-hopped beers,” said Dr. Denby.</p><p>Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.</p><p>Hops, one of beer’s four essential ingredients (the others are water, yeast and barley), come in dozens of varieties. Each bestows its own unique flavor. But they are a resource-intensive crop, requiring large amounts of water and sunlight to grow. The irrigation of hops in the United States alone requires more than 260 million gallons of water a year.</p><p>Dr. Denby’s process, which he is hoping to commercialize, is a long way from putting hops farmers out of business. Still, he said, the technique could also help brewers produce a more consistent product. “Brewers we’ve spoken with say that ensuring consistency of hop flavor is a constant challenge” because potency can vary among farms and seasons, he said. “On the other hand, the conditions inside a fermentor can be easily controlled.”</p><p>Either way, he said, “we’re really excited to make the brewing process more sustainable.”</p>