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Nanotechnology Company Pairs With UA To Grow More Plants In Space

UbiQD and UA are partnering to study how to better grow plants in space using nanotechnology.
UBiQD, Inc.
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handout | agency
UbiQD and UA are partnering to study how to better grow plants in space using nanotechnology.

NASA is funding a private company to partner with the University of Arizona to study how to better grow plants in space using nanotechnology.

One of the latest research contracts from NASA meant to spur innovative, small business pairs a New Mexico-based company with the UA's space-centric greenhouse.

UbiQD, Inc. will work to make more precise lighting arrangements that grow the plants in an environment that mimics what astronauts could use to grow food.

The company specializes in quantum dots, which are microscopic particles that conduct electricity and emit light. UbiQD will tailor the spectrum of light this nanotechnology emits to help grow more vegetables, which is something the company says could end up helping astronauts and Earth-based growers with their crop yields.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.