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full english breakfast

A full English breakfast is a thing of beauty, but eating lots of processed meats can increase our risk of developing cancer. Researchers are constantly on the hunt for ways to reduce the risks of processed meat, and have recently had a breakthrough with a Japanese knotweed extract! So, could Japanese knotweed (a plant we've all come to fear) be the secret to enjoying a fry up without fear?

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Japanese knotweed research

A research study conducted at the National University of Ireland, Galway has highlighted a new way to tackle Japanese knotweed infestations. In the study, researchers discovered that incorrect application of herbicides was ineffective at controlling and stopping the spread of the invasive weed - however if you can remove all moisture from the offending plant material you can return it to the soil without the risk of it rearing its head later down the line.

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Spinach plants in soil

We've all heard of people who talk to their plants because they believe it will help them to grow, but now - thanks to a group of scientists in the USA - the plants may be able to talk back.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a system that uses spinach plants to detect explosive materials such as landmines. When these nanotechnology-enhanced plants notice a specific compound in the groundwater, the carbon nanotubes in the spinach leaves transmit a signal that is picked up by an infrared camera, which in turn sends an email alert to the scientists.

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A housing association has come under fire after it allowed a Japanese knotweed plant to encroach on a neighbouring garden. Here's the full story...

The owner of a home in Peckham contacted his lawyer after spotting some Japanese knotweed emerging on his property. He had owned the terraced house for over 32 years and identified the invasive weed making its way into his garden.

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Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant species

Japanese knotweed can be found all over the UK. Many British homeowners have had problems with this invasive plant species, but it is also abundant in the wild - on roadsides and near railway lines, for example.

What is Japanese Knotweed?

Ecologists are already employing all sorts of different tactics to get the UK's Japanese knotweed problem under control (perhaps you remember our recent blog post about the sniffer dogs who'd been trained for this purpose). But it's hard to defeat an enemy whose location is unclear, and one big hurdle in the fight against Japanese knotweed is the fact we don't know exactly how widespread the plant is.

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