What Is A Growth Chamber And How Does it Assist Your Research?

When you think of great people throughout history, who comes to mind?

Most people would think of Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Charles Darwin, or Nelson Mandela. Those are great choices, but we’re going to pick one person that we believe beats them all. We pick Norman Borlaug.

You might not know who Norman Borlaug is, and that’s a shame. Mr. Borlaug, using agricultural research, saved a billion lives.

Dr. Borlaug produced a high-yield and disease-resistant strain of Mexican wheat that helped avert a global food crisis in the 1950s and ’60s. His example led to the development of new agricultural research tools, including the plant growth chamber.

What Is A Plant Growth Chamber?

Growth chambers allow researchers to control the environmental conditions when studying plants. Researchers, biologist, and other professionals can control humidity, temperature, light, and other factors.

Growing chambers help plant pathologists fight disease and geneticists develop sturdier food crops. They provide indispensable data for seed germination that the next Norman Borlaug will use to fight off the future food crises.

How do plant growth chambers achieve this? Let’s look at how they benefit agricultural research.

Reproducibility

Reproducibility is one of the fundamental elements of experimental science.

A study’s reproducibility is the ability for other researchers to duplicate experiments. This allows others to either confirm or falsify the original study.

Growth chambers do this by allowing researchers to set certain variables during their test. Another researcher can then match these variables to determine whether the same result occurs.

Without growth chambers, there could be variation in other factors that are outside of a team’s control. Small factors, such as an additional few moments of sunlight a day or air composition can cause dramatic variations in results.

Environmental growth chambers ensure equal factors during the verification process. Of course, this relies on the previous team’s record keeping. If there aren’t proper records, the second study will falsify the data and can then work on a solution.

Variability

Let’s say that the second study does falsify the original study. If they choose too, they can make adjustments to the factors presented in the first study to see if they can reach similar results. Other researchers can then attempt to reproduce these results and validate the new study.

Researchers can also improve the results from the first study due to the variability provided by plant growth chambers. If the first study shows a 3% improved yield, the second group might make an adjustment that improves yield by 5%.

This research could lead to other breakthroughs, improving access to food for people in non-ideal growing areas.

Testing For Less Than Ideal Growing Regions

One of the largest concerns for agricultural scientists is the lack of farmable land. Many countries across the world face shortages in farmland in the near future. This problem, along with a lack of skilled farm labor, climate change, and a booming worldwide population points to an impending food crisis.

In the UK, it’s expected that there will be a shortage of farms by 2030. In Africa and other parts of the world, the problem isn’t a lack of land, but a lack of arable land. Experts believe that the world’s population will grow to 11.2 billion people by the mid-2030s.

The population explosion will lead to a shortage of resources, in particular food. Earth is an isolated system, leaving us with two options:

  1. People could stop reproducing. This has yet to happen in humanity’s history, so it’s safe to assume that people aren’t going to stop having kids.
  2. We can make better use of the land we have.

Growing chambers allow researchers to develop high-grain products that use less land and produce more food. They also help to determine what regions of the world produce the best of a certain crop.

In the future, it’s almost guaranteed that food production will take a global approach to meet the needs of humanity. Certain nations will grow food for the sole purpose of exportation while importing others. We’ve seen the beginnings of this approach over the past 50 years, and that trend should continue.

Growth chambers allow researchers in the United States to test the viability of crops in Asia and Africa, and vice versa. This research is currently our best hope of staving off a food crisis that could lead to millions, if not billions, of people starving to death.

A Growth Chamber Helps You Make And Test Predictions

The hallmark of a good theory is the ability to make predictions about future events. In the case of agricultural science, this occurs by predicting such things as yield and survivability.

In the past, a scientist would develop a new type of grain that they believed could survive a shorter growing season. They would then have to test their crop in the real world. If their grain didn’t survive, it meant years of wasted work and hungry mouths to feed.

Now, scientists can make a prediction and use growth chambers to simulate a shorter growing season. If the prediction doesn’t hold true, they can begin working on a solution immediately.

This type of dynamic research leads to the creation of new crops. Researchers can adapt to changing climate patterns and other conditions. Water shortages could have devastated communities in the past. Now, we are able to plan ahead through the use of growing chambers and the variability they afford.

Let Us Help You Innovate The Way Food Grows

We offer a wide range of products that meet the needs of biologists and researchers around the world. We’ve designed our products to give you the adaptability and reproducibility you need to improve your research.

Whether you’re in an independent lab, corporate setting, or educational institution in need of a growth chamber, our products are perfect for you. We can produce ICH test chambers with any light source, providing you with further flexibility.

If you have any questions, contact us today and our team will reach out to you!

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