corn 6 18 18
Mexico is the center of origin for maize, and there is a substantial interest in protecting the genetic integrity of this limited resource. At the same time Mexico’s population is growing. There is an intricate balance between feeding a population and ensuring farmer profit versus preservation of a genetic resource.
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Ever-more powerful genetic technologies, such as genome-editing endonucleases and marker-assisted breeding, continue to facilitate the development of genetically modified (GM) crops engineered with complex traits, such as, nutritional quality, climatic resilience and stacked disease-tolerance mechanisms. But in many developing countries, the uptake of these GM products is being jeopardized by...
| | June 20, 2018
On bad days, Dewayne Johnson is too crippled to speak. Lesions often cover as much as 80% of his body. Doctors have said they didn't expect him to live to see this day. But [June 18th] marked a milestone: Johnson, 46, is the first of hundreds of cancer patients to see...
| | June 20, 2018
Recently, the examination of two 3,800-year old skeletons revealed the presence of a Yersinia pestis strain, famously the bacterium that causes plague. This strain is now the oldest of its kind sequenced to date, and suggests that the devastation that is the bubonic plague has a Bronze Age origin. The discovery, published [June 8]...
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a World Health Organization subsidiary mired in controversy, picked Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass as its new director on May 17th. Critics hoped IARC would mend unscientific practices used under former director Chris Wild by filling the vacancy with an outsider, but Weiderpass will...
| | June 20, 2018
There’s a new biotech in town. And it doesn’t care about making money. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spun out a nonprofit biotech offspring, the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. With funding of $273 million for its first four years, the organization is in an enviable...
| | June 20, 2018
New evidence indicates that the Y chromosome participates in an array of essential, general-interest tasks in men, like stanching cancerous growth, keeping arteries clear and blocking the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain. As a sizable percentage of men age, their blood and other body cells begin to spontaneously...
So-called cellular agriculture raises numerous questions about whether the regulations enacted to ensure food safety for conventional animal foods are adequate when applied to alt-meat products. (Spoiler alert: They’re not). Because of that uncertainty — as well in response to industry and public pressure — the Food and Drug Administration...
| | June 20, 2018
SETI enthusiasts have devised all sorts of complicated ways for us to find signs of alien life, but a new paper suggests we may be overthinking it. Instead of looking for megastructures and spaceships, we should consider something a bit more obvious: alien satellites and space junk in orbit around...
| | June 20, 2018
[N]ot everyone is ready to welcome AI with open arms. In recent years, as computer scientists have pushed the boundaries of what AI can accomplish, leading figures in technology and science have warned about the looming dangers that artificial intelligence may pose to humanity, even suggesting that AI capabilities could...
| | June 20, 2018
Recently, a federal judge sitting in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento), for the first time, refused to require a manufacturer to place a Prop 65 warning on its product based on a finding that the requirement would violate the company’s First Amendment rights. We have been following this developing...
corn 6 18 18
Mexico is the center of origin for maize, and there is a substantial interest in protecting the genetic integrity of this limited resource. At the same time Mexico’s population is growing. There is an intricate balance between feeding a population and ensuring farmer profit versus preservation of a genetic resource.

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