[Janice] Chen and her colleagues found something odd when they scanned viewers’ brains: as different people retold their own versions of the same scene [of BBC’s Sherlock], their brains produced remarkably similar patterns of activity. Chen is among a growing number of researchers using brain imaging to identify the activity patterns involved in creating and
Animal and plant breeders are trying out a set of powerful new tools which have the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and provide consumers with more healthy and safe food options. … [T]wo processes developed in recent years are accelerating breeders’ ability to genetically alter crops and animals and apply the brakes to harmful organisms.
You may have more in common with your friends than you think, according to a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Your genes may be similar, too. Past research has suggested that people tend to be somewhat genetically similar to their spouses and adult friends, likely because humans naturally gravitate toward people with whom they have
The national debate about the use of GMOs in Mexico experienced a significant shift when the technology received strong academic support from one of the most important colleges in Latin America. This past November, the Biotechnology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) publicly endorsed the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture.
In the past few months, the possibility of do-it-yourself genetic engineering has exited the realm of the purely hypothetical. … All of these attempts fall outside the purview of U.S. regulatory oversight, since the job of agencies like the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t generally include policing what people can do to themselves. But this
Easing the public into being more comfortable with genome-edited food will take more than simply stating facts according to Kevin Diehl. The director of regulatory product strategy, scientific affairs and industry relations for DuPont Pioneer in America provided the keynote address on the second day of TropAg 2017 in Brisbane [Australia]…. Mr Diehl gave an insight into
German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said on Thursday [Jan. 18] he could see no set date for an end to use of the controversial weed-killer glyphosate in Germany. Schmidt caused international controversy and a major row in Germany’s government coalition in November by unexpectedly backing a European Union Commission proposal to permit use of glyphosate
Huntington’s has no cure. Over decades biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into developing and testing pharmaceuticals for these devastating conditions, only to unleash storms of disappointment. Yet in December a ray of something approximating hope poked through when a California company released preliminary findings from its small Huntington’s study. Results from this early-stage clinical trial
A research scientist, Paul Onyenekwe, has described the approval granted to two international agencies by a Nigerian regulatory agency to test run some genetically modified cassava in Nigeria as a welcome development. Mr. Onyenekwe, the President of Nigeria Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium, NBBC, was reacting to criticisms levelled against the approved field trials by some
Rats were not to blame for the spread of plague during the Black Death, according to a study. The rodents and their fleas were thought to have spread a series of outbreaks in 14th-19th Century Europe. But a team from the universities of Oslo and Ferrara now says the first, the Black Death, can be “largely
Australia is set to reform how it regulates new genetic engineering techniques, which experts say will help to dramatically speed up health and agriculture research. The changes will enable agricultural scientists to breed higher yielding crops faster and cheaper, or ones resistant to drought and disease. Australia’s gene technology regulator Raj Bhula has proposed reducing
Unless someone swipes one of President Trump’s used forks from the Mar-a-Lago dining room and sends it to 23andMe for DNA analysis, the world will simply have to guess what the White House physician meant when he told reporters…that Trump “has incredible genes, I just assume.” “Incredible genes” may seem like hand-waving, but there’s no
There is a musical pattern to our DNA, and it may help us understand how genes work and pinpoint diseases in our genomes.
One common belief about modern farming is that farmers use pesticides in excess on their crops. A plant scientist explains the truth.
Gene editing technologies should be largely exempted from EU laws on GM food, although individual states can regulate them if they choose, the European court’s advocate general has said. The opinion may have far-reaching consequences for new breeding techniques that can remove specific parts of a plant’s genetic code and foster herbicide-resistant traits. Hundreds of millions of
In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this approval was that the USDA did not ask that the inventors of the plant endure the usual regulatory hoops
Discussions about the global epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes tend to assume that these are new phenomena…In the United States, however, the origins of the diabetes epidemic may be found in hospital records from the 19th century. … The candy, chocolate, and ice cream industries had all been founded in the 1840s; the
As Burkina Faso farmers predicted, their nation has lost its standing as Africa’s largest producer of cotton since halting the cultivation of genetically engineered, pest-resistant Bt cotton. Mali has now emerged as the number one producer of cotton in Africa, edging Burkina Faso out of the place it held for more than a decade, according to a
A white Kansas lawmaker who suggested at a public forum that blacks were predisposed to abusing drugs resigned from two legislative committee leadership jobs but did not give up his seat in the Legislature. Republican Rep. Steve Alford, from the western Kansas town of Ulysses, faced calls on social media to leave office altogether from critics who
In the 16th century, an epidemic known as “cocoliztli” that caused bleeding and vomiting swept through large areas of Guatemala, Mexico and even reached Peru. It wiped out 80% of the population, killing millions of people. Ancient DNA and a new technique have been used to determine the likely cause of this mysterious epidemic that contributed to
[O]n numerous occasions I have heard glyphosate critics argue that glyphosate should be opposed because it might alter the microbiome in humans. In a post on his Facebook page, The Mad Virologist discussed a recently published study on the effects of glyphosate on gut microorganisms, and inspired me to unpack the microbiome argument against glyphosate and
With CRISPR, there is no doubt that there are multiple very concerning implications to the technology. Should humans actually alter their genetic code to introduce preferential attributes? Should parents be allowed to dictate what their children look like? And, perhaps most pressing of all, should we be altering our own evolutionary path in this extreme
When one disparages farms that are organic or ones that use full-on technology, this does not take into consideration the importance of all food systems. … Standing in a field of GM canola in Western Australia, we were discussing genetically modified versus non-GM crop production. On this farm, the high salinity of the soil was
Two new cancer treatments have shown miraculous cures, but if you happen to live in Arkansas or Montana, or a handful of other rural states—let alone outside the U.S.—you’ll have to travel hundreds of miles to get them. And it’s by no means certain that they’ll eventually be available everywhere. These groundbreaking gene therapies, Kymriah and Yescarta, were
The Arctic apple is the juiciest newcomer to produce aisles. It has the special ability to resist browning after being cut, which protects its flavor and nutritional value. Browning also contributes to food waste by causing unappealing bruising on perfectly edible apples. … Are Arctic apples safe? After over a decade of research, regulatory agencies
UPDATE: The European Court of Justice’s advocate general has said gene editing technologies should be largely exempted from EU laws on GM food. The European Court of Justice on Thursday [Jan. 18] is set to issue a preliminary opinion on whether so-called New Plant Breeding Techniques (NPBTs) should fall under the EU’s laws governing genetically
From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have suspected a link between epilepsy and depression. Now, for the first time, scientists at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Columbia University have found evidence that seizures and mood disorders such as depression may share the same genetic cause in some people with epilepsy, which may lead to better screening
Scientists are generally inclined to dislike big companies–but they know that biotechnology has made our food supply safer and more sustainable, writes Cameron English.
Researchers are learning more about the causes and progression of the disease. This leads them to suggest that new treatment options could one day be developed to counter specific elements of the disorder.
Human antibodies made in genetically engineered cows have proved safe in an early stage clinical trial…and could be developed into a treatment for the fatal viral disease, MERS. MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is a SARS-like viral infection first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 that has caused deadly outbreaks in the Middle East
Limagrain, the world’s fourth-largest seed maker, will consider moving its research activities out of France if field trials in its home market continue to be sabotaged by opponents of genetically modified crops. The French cooperative group was targeted last month by protestors who invaded test fields southeast of Paris and scattered non-commercial seed. That was
Young breast cancer patients with faulty BRCA genes have the same survival chances as those without, a study has found. The researchers, who looked at almost 3,000 women, also found outcomes were the same whatever kind of treatment women had – including mastectomies. … The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, found 12% of 2,733 women
Today, as technology is becoming more accessible and less expensive, smaller labs and researchers are able to produce GMOs at a reduced costs — with the seed produced available for public good, not profit. And this allows them to respond to small, localized food production issues such as bananas in Uganda and papaya in Hawaii. For the development
Editor’s note: Zahaan Bharmal is the Head of Marketing Strategic Communications at Google and has a degree in Physics from Oxford University In July this year, the Earth and Mars will come closer than at any other point in the last 15 years. They will be in perihelic opposition, meaning Mars will reach the nearest
Uganda’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Elioda Tumwesigye, has said Uganda should embrace science and innovation for faster economic transformation of Uganda. Tumwesigye said it is surprising that Uganda and other African countries are still debating Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) yet countries like America had the debate many years ago and have since advanced.
To put it flatly, H3N2 is the problem child of seasonal flu. It causes more deaths than the other influenza A virus, H1N1, as well as flu B viruses. It’s a quirky virus that seems, at every turn, to misbehave and make life miserable for the people who contract it, the scientists trying to keep
On Sunday [Jan. 7], CBS’s 60 Minutes ran a segment on the propaganda role of Russian news network RT, or Russia Today. … RT, the Kremlin’s primary English-language propaganda arm, is the mouthpiece for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda. Fake news is its stock in trade, as illustrated by its blatant disinformation attacks on the reporting of news by respected media outlets
[We are at the beginning of] an upstart revolution where citizens are deciding not to wait around for a cure or even a diagnosis. From analyzing their own genetics and mastering genome editing on simple bacterial and viral cells to prototyping surgical devices, these “bio-citizens” are using newly available biotechnologies and resources to better understand
Monsanto Co has gained the support of 11 states in its fight to stop California from requiring the company to place cancer warnings on products containing glyphosate. Monsanto, the National Association of Wheat Growers and several other agricultural groups have filed a federal lawsuit with the support of these 11 states. Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and
The $850,000 list price for a new medicine that treats a genetic form of childhood blindness is about four times too high for the value the drug provides, a nonprofit that studies the cost-effectiveness of new drugs said [on January 12]. … The report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review focused on the medicine Luxturna, the
Genetically modified organisms could potentially do a lot of good for the world, like ending the spread of diseases, or maybe one day helping us grow more food to feed the hungry. There’s a big problem, though. When you release altered species out into the wild, how can you prevent them from breeding with untweaked organisms living in
The agency was heavily criticized for the methodology used in declaring the herbicide glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.” Now IARC is making an effort to point out the support it enjoys from scientists, including three Nobel Laureates.
We know that both men and woman are attracted to each other’s shapes. But human sexual desire, and partner preference, also appear to be affected by the same genes that determine the various proteins on cell surfaces that aid the immune system.
[An] old idea—improving neural networks not through teaching, but through evolution—is revealing its potential. Five new papers from Uber in San Francisco, California, demonstrate the power of so-called neuroevolution to play video games, solve mazes, and even make a simulated robot walk. Neuroevolution [is] a process of mutating and selecting the best neural networks. … At Uber, such
When most of us think about the threats posed by climate change, events like floods, droughts, intense storms and hotter temperatures come to mind. These are all, according to the vast majority of scientists, exactly what we can expect to see more and more of. However, what is often overlooked are the sociopolitical consequences of
Editor’s note: The following is part of an editorial by Capital Press, a website covering agriculture in the US West Foodies, farmers, processors and others spend a lot of time talking about labels, and there are plenty to talk about. They include how and where food was grown and processed and what is — and isn’t
Editor’s note: Arthur Makara is the executive director of the Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development in Uganda When [Uganda’s] President [Yoweri] Museveni announced his decision to defer signing the National Biosafety Act 2017 into law a few days ago, I wrote a piece clarifying that he is likely to have been misinformed. I based my
Editor’s note: Abraham Loeb is chair of the astronomy department at Harvard University As we discover numerous habitable planets around other stars in the Milky Way galaxy, including the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, one cannot help but wonder why we have not yet detected evidence for an alien civilization. … Based on our own experience, we
[D]eep brain stimulation [is] a type of therapy in which one or more electrodes are inserted into your brain and connected to a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device in your chest. This device, which is approximately the size of a stopwatch, sends electric pulses to a targeted region of your brain. The idea is to control
Editor’s note: The following is from a Q&A with Nancy Cox, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. Q: [A] major concern among consumers revolves around genetically modified organisms. Can you touch on this and tell us where the science stands today? A: Certainly. The concept of genetically modified organisms
Printed replacement human body parts might seem like science fiction, but this technology is rapidly becoming a reality with the potential to greatly contribute to regenerative medicine. Before any real applications, “bioprinting” still faces many technical challenges. Processing the bio-ink and making it stick to itself and hold the desired printed gel structure have been
When people consider evolutionary events related to the origin and diversification of new species and groups, they tend to emphasize novel adaptations — specific genes giving rise to new, beneficial traits. But a growing body of research suggests that in some cases, that deciding factor may be something much more fundamental: size. In a [new] paper
A controversial pesticide allegedly linked to bee deaths will be pulled from [Australian, New Zealand, and UK hardware store chain] Bunnings’ shelves by the end of this year, a spokesman has confirmed. The canned product Yates Confidor is a class of pesticide which some studies suggest affects bees’ navigation and immune systems, resulting in colony death.
In recent decades, prompted by concerns that men’s sperm quality is declining, researchers have looked at things they suspect of potentially disrupting the body’s endocrine system. … In a study published…in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that a concentrated dose of the over-the-counter painkiller taken by young, healthy men appears to be
A new study suggests that tiny doses of lithium chloride could be an easy and effective treatment for Varroa mites, a scourge on honeybees around the world.
Hormones released into an expectant mother’s bloodstream may affect the child’s intelligence, mental health and susceptibility to stress, among other things.
Since its introduction four decades ago, genetic engineering has been a source of high hopes for health, agriculture, and industry. But it has also provoked deep anxiety, not least owing to the laborious nature of the genome-editing process. Now, a new technique, CRISPR-Cas, offers both precision and the ability to modify the genome text at
How long do you want to live – to 85, 90, 100 or beyond? More important than how long we live is the state of our health in old age. … [S]cientists in the United States believe drugs could be on the horizon that delay the diseases of old age and increase the healthy years
[Genetic engineering] is a powerful tool that can help us farm responsibly and sustainably by minimizing damage to the environment and prioritizing the health of both people and animals — the precise goals of organic farming. Type the terms ‘GMO’ and ‘organic’ into Google and you’ll get a barrage of links framing the two as diametrically opposed. The truth
CRISPR–Cas9-edited plants can be cultivated and sold free from regulation, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making increasingly clear. The agency gave a free pass to Camelina sativa, or false flax, with enhanced omega-3 oil. And more recently, in October, said that a drought-tolerant soybean variety developed with CRISPR falls outside of its regulatory
The New York Times reported earlier this week on a new trend: “raw water.” Several companies around the country are selling it, notably Live Water on the west coast and Tourmaline Spring in Maine. This is water that’s untreated, unfiltered, unprocessed in any way—direct from nature to the consumer. … Live Water makes unfounded and
Speculation about extraterrestrials seems to be everywhere these days. [Recently] it was “Tabby’s Star” (more officially known as KIC 8462852), whose mysterious dimming and brightening, according to the latest analysis, is likely due to dust blocking different wavelengths of light rather than “alien megastructures.” Before that came reports of an interstellar asteroid—not a spacecraft—entering our solar
If you’re planning to have major surgery soon, you might not want to read this next sentence. Scientists don’t actually know why general anesthesia works—though some scientists in Australia think they might be one step closer to the answer. We do know the basics: breathe in, get knocked out. (Another common option is to have
The Brazilian unit of seed and agrochemicals maker Monsanto on Thursday [Jan. 11] said it will run field tests with genetically modified soy seed INTACTA2 XTEND in Brazil in the 2019-20 crop, looking to launch the variety commercially the following year. INTACTA2 XTEND seeds have been engineered to resist some weed killers, including those containing
Once, this boy mummy was thought to have died of smallpox, but a new analysis of his now 450-year-old DNA reveals signs of hepatitis B, instead — the oldest known infection of the virus. The puzzling new diagnosis is made stranger still by the similarity between the mummy’s hepatitis B virus and modern-day strains, suggesting
Genetics counselor and writer Ricki Lewis explains how a breast cancer diagnosis led her to genetic testing—and why she decided to give up eating beef.
Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has drafted a law governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Rwanda which will soon be forwarded to the Rwanda Law Reform Commission for review. The draft bill was prepared along with the National Biosafety Framework, biosafety policy and regulations according to officials. The objective of the legislation is to ensure
Plant biomass contains considerable calorific value but most of it makes up robust cell walls, an unappetising evolutionary advantage that helped grasses to survive foragers and prosper for more than 60 million years. The trouble is that this robustness still makes them less digestible in the rumen of cows and sheep and difficult to process
The sometimes-preternatural similarity of identical twins is more profound than previously thought. Identical twins, known to science as “monozygotic”, may share more than identical looks and genes, according to new research in the field of epigenetics. … The team zeroed in on a class of epigenetic markers that are stable and exist in all cell
Wouldn’t it be nice if our microbiomes could serve up diet advice—some science-based assurance that our food and medicines act in harmony with our resident microbes to keep us healthy? For that to happen, scientists will need to better understand how the interaction between food and microbes affects the chemical composition of our guts. Now,
Uganda is moving closer to allowing cultivation of GMO crops. But there is considerable confusion among the Ugandan public over the status of GMOs––with many people believing they’re already being grown and sold commercially, and many believing they are harmful.
Oregon State fruit breeder Maxine Thompson: A trailblazer in plant science, now retired from academia, she continues to work on developing new berry varieties.
Rethinking the pesticides–neonicotinoids–bee health crisis narrative: Why the media get it wrong | Jon Entine Viewpoint: Oprah for president? Junk science enabler? | Stephan Neidenbach Viewpoint: Misguided activism imperils potential of golden rice | Henry Miller Treating the concussion epidemic: Could spit tests identify those most likely to recover slowly? | Ricki Lewis Viewpoint: African farmers blocked from using
The architecture that beat humans at the notoriously CPU-impervious game Go, AlphaGo by Google Deep Mind, was converted to allow the machine to tackle other “closed-rules” games. Successively, the program was given the rules of chess, and a huge battery of Google’s GPUs to train itself on the game. Within four hours, the alien emerged.
Karen Caplan is the CEO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce Non-GMO vodka? Really? When I saw this ad, I realized it’s finally time to blog about GMOs. I have been putting off writing this post for many years because GMOs are a controversial subject. … What bothers me most about the term GMO is that an entire industry
The process of producing food, protecting the environment, and improving animal health is advancing at a seemingly breakneck pace. These advancements are driven in part by new scientific discoveries, genetic research, data science, enhanced computational power, and the availability of new systems for precision breeding like CRISPR—an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.
There was a time when one of the most dangerous crop diseases a wheat farmer could encounter in the field was stem rust. It is caused by a fungus, and its spores look like flecks of rust on metal — first red, later black in color. The fungus spreads along stems and leaves of cereal plants,
Bayer plant scientist Ray Shillito: Educating the next generation of scientists about how to communicate with the public will help move crop science and biotechnology forward.
In contrast to adults, acceptance of evolution in schoolchildren in the UK is linked to their scientific aptitude rather than conflicts with belief systems, say scientists at our Milner Centre for Evolution. Previous studies in the USA have shown that adults that strongly reject evolution are often highly educated but reject the scientific consensus owing to conflicts
23andMe is kicking off a massive study into the genetics of weight loss that the company says will involve 100,000 people crowdsourced from its database of 1.3 million of its customers. It’s perhaps the most ambitious undertaking today date to discern the link between people’s DNA and their success at dieting. … [I]t’s unlikely that finding the
Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes, immune cells which have a powerful arsenal of cytotoxic weaponry that they can use against tumors. Unfortunately, tumors protect themselves using a protective microenvironment that shields them from attack from NK cells. This microenvironment promotes tumor growth and survival and has an immunosuppressive effect that blunts the attempts of
By mid-October, state departments of agriculture nationwide had received 2,708 complaints from soybean farmers who claimed their fields had been damaged by wayward dicamba. Some 3.6 million acres had been affected, an unprecedented case of herbicides gone rogue. The Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee agriculture departments all temporarily restricted or banned dicamba (several more states will do so in 2018), and
In October 2016, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federally-filed Roundup lawsuits into one court in the Northern District of California. These are all cases filed by plaintiffs who claim that after using the herbicide for an extended period of time, they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) or a similar type of
Researchers at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) João Lobo Antunes have found that manipulating a single RNA molecule is enough to revert cellular ageing. Throughout time all cells age gradually, contributing to the development of several diseases. Inducing cellular regeneration is one of the strategies used to fight diseases associated with cellular ageing. However, aged
After months of research, they faced a disappointing truth: There was no way around herbicides. “Turns out zapping weeds with electricity or hot liquid requires far more time and energy than chemicals—and it isn’t guaranteed to work,” [Jorge Heraud, CEO at Blue River Technology] says. Those methods might eliminate the visible part of a weed,
A new “planetary boundaries” study says agriculture can be more sustainable to save the planet. Others say the numbers don’t add up.
When deprived of sleep, some people are able to cope and respond much better than others. Although scientists have identified genes associated with this phenomenon, it was still unknown why the effects of sleep deprivation tend to vary so widely across both individuals and cognitive tasks. … [I]n a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports,
The science of facial structures has advanced tremendously in recent years, leading to a number of applications and a deeper understanding about how faces may predict success in life.
Anti-biotech groups funded by Western activists campaign against the commercialization of GMO crops in Africa, such as a new disease-resistant banana variety that also has higher vitamin A levels.
Oprah Winfrey’s recent speech at the Golden Globes captured the imagination of countless people with rumors spreading that it could generate a popular well-spring of support that would prompt to her run for president in 2020. But many of the same science communicators and journalists who are concerned about President Trump’s anti-science tendencies are having
After a year of trying, [Australian geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam’s lab at the University of California succeeded in using] the gene-editing tool CRISPR to add a gene called SRY to some bovine skin cells. And SRY is no ordinary bit of DNA. All on its own, the presence of SRY can make a female turn out to be essentially male—with bigger muscles,
The key to controlling hunger and fighting obesity is in brain cells that produce hormones, according to research. … Scientists showed that antenna-like structures on brain cells, called primary cilia, control appetite, which offers potential new options to treat obesity now that researchers know exactly which neurons to target. … Studies on humans and mice
A new review examines the potential of genetic testing for creating personalized exercise regimens for physical training and for identifying the risk for physical injury associated with physical activity. While physical activity is generally recognized to improve fitness and reduce the risk of chronic disease, it also understood that the response to physical training varies
Editor’s note: Sonny Perdue is the US Secretary of Agriculture. He is a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and governor of Georgia. Farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers know that the overall economy is booming again, and for that we are thankful and optimistic. But it is clear when you drive through the byways, small towns,
On Oct. 15 at 8 a.m., Andy Lindsay stood atop 21,247-foot Mera Peak in Nepal, a wildly improbable place for him to be both athletically and medically. Andy, a veteran climber and a friend of mine, had been living with Stage IV lung cancer for three years. “To live one year was statistically unlikely, and
You’ve probably heard the same conversation, in one way or another, for years: Some say genetically modified organisms (GMO) are harmful, while others say they’ll help us feed the growing billions of humans that populate our planet. People’s positions on the subject seem cemented, bound by the hard stays of emotion, and nearly impossible to
Iowa taxpayers will pay a $50,000 settlement to end a lawsuit filed by anti-GMO activists who claim state officials violated their First Amendment rights. The lawsuit was filed against the World Food Prize and state officials last year in light of limits Iowa placed upon demonstrators at an annual awards ceremony held at the Capitol.
For the first time, scientists have produced evidence in living humans that the protein tau, which mars the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, spreads from neuron to neuron. … Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom combined two brain imaging techniques, functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, in 17
Fuel cells powered by living algae that are five times more efficient than current models, have been designed by scientists at the University of Cambridge. It is thought they could one day be used to provide electricity to places where there is no existing electrical grid system, such as parts of rural Africa. The new design makes
Israeli archaeologists have uncovered next to one of the country’s busiest roads the site of an extraordinarily well preserved prehistoric “paradise” used by stone age hunter-gatherers over half a million years ago, who left behind evidence of hundreds of knapped flint hand-axes. The discovery at about a five-metre depth at Jaljulia, near the town of
An end to the use of non-GMO labels on products that do not have GMO alternatives, NAFTA modification to improve access to difficult Canada dairy markets, and American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall will return for another term. Delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2018 Annual Convention approved several measures Tuesday [Jan. 9] to help
On [January 8], the world of science awoke to news that suddenly cast uncomfortable doubt on many of the past five years’ major breakthroughs: A new paper had identified a possible barrier to using the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 in humans. The news incited a temporary hysteria that sent the stocks of all three major
Scientists in Bangladesh have developed the country’s first biotech rice variety giving farmers an answer to the difficulties they face in harvesting the staple with machines. Stems of BRRIdhan-86, the variety that got release approval yesterday, are strong and stout and easy to reap by mechanical harvesters. This will come handy to farm owners, who
A new paper points to a previously unknown hurdle for scientists racing to develop therapies using the revolutionary genome-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9: the human immune system. In a study posted [January 5] on the preprint site bioRxiv, researchers reported that many people have existing immune proteins and cells primed to target the Cas9 proteins included in
Tea farmers in Sri Lanka want their government to reauthorize the use of glyphosate for agriculture. The country is one of only five in the world to ban the chemical, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide Roundup. … In the face of rising crop losses because of overgrowing weeds, the Planters’ Association of Ceylon is asking
[Researchers have] been stumped by one great mystery: how the building blocks in a protein take their final shape. David Baker, 55, the director of the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, has been investigating that enigma for a quarter-century. … In a series of papers published this year, Dr. Baker and
Honey bees might be drawn to the very chemicals that are endangering them, based on experiments in which they preferred drinking sugar water that had been mixed with the poisons rather than sugar water alone. Evolution may explain why the bees are attracted to the chemicals that are potentially dangerous to their health. But the
For decades, researchers, some physicians, and a few patients have had visions of treatments that would go in and fix diseases at the genetic level. Last year, those dreams took on some reality as Kymriah and Yescarta became the first FDA-approved gene therapy treatments. But there’s a catch: Are they really gene therapy? For a
With his black, brown and white fur, Longlong looks like most beagles. But the puppy has been sick with a blood-clotting disorder since birth — exactly what scientists in China had wanted. The pup was cloned from Apple, a different dog whose genome was edited to develop the disease atherosclerosis. With that genetic information now
Talking Biotech hosts Kevin Folta and Paul Vincelli talk about their favorite stories from 2017, and what to look for in the year ahead.
“We are streamlining regulations that have blocked cutting-edge biotechnology, setting free our farmers to innovate, thrive, and to grow,” Trump told a meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 8. … He’s pro-GMO? Sounds like it. KFC-loving Trump may have been referring to how, in November , his administration scrapped USDA rules that would have regulated plants created through gene-editing tools like
A 15-year global study of children genetically predisposed to developing Type 1 diabetes found that drinking formula made with cow’s milk did not increase such children’s risk for developing the disease. … “Previous studies have indicated that early exposure to complex foreign proteins, such as the proteins in cow’s milk, may increase the risk of
In murder investigations, DNA evidence often helps to link a perpetrator to a crime scene and put him or her behind bars. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on January 8 show that DNA evidence is also successfully being used to link rhinoceros horns seized from poachers and traffickers in various countries directly to the specific crime
In 1988, a remarkable finding illuminated a new path that agricultural scientists would soon follow in their quest to maximise crop yields. The first step was the discovery of a microbe that fixes nitrogen in the sap of sugarcane growing in Brazil. The microbe converts inert nitrogen in air to useful ammonia, explaining why sugar
Editor’s note: Robert Arnason is an agriculture journalist. In 2017 I interviewed about 800 to 1,200 people about agriculture, agronomy, science and food. Looking back at the responses, to probably more than 3,000 questions, one comment stands above the rest. It came from Kevin Folta, professor and chair of the University of Florida horticultural sciences
There is disagreement among some of the top minds in technology when it comes to the subject of regulating artificial intelligence. Do the potential benefits outweigh the risks?
Golden rice has the potential to solve a significant health problem in developing nations, where hundreds of thousands of children die each year as result of vitamin A deficiency. But anti-GMO groups like Greenpeace continue to oppose it, without any scientific basis, writes Henry Miller.
New research published in Science Translational Medicine … introduced a new potential treatment for some of the most difficult to treat cancers––brain and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The research, published in two side by side papers, shows that viruses enhance the use of checkpoint therapy in cancer treatment. … The process of making this distinction [between self and invader] becomes difficult for immune cells
Seventy-four-year-old Walter Macfarlane and 72-year-old Alan Robinson have been friends for more than 60 years. Born in Honolulu, they first met in elementary school, played high school football together and joke they could have married the same girl. They sent their children to the same schools they attended and vacationed together as families. But it
1. What do you think are the main factors that influence how effective a biology teacher is at teaching evolution? It’s all about content knowledge. A teacher should know the definition of a scientific theory, current examples of evolution, and, as a result, have confidence when teaching the subject. … 4. What type of evidence
A study found that microRNA in the saliva may offer early warning signs about a person’s likelihood of recovering quickly after suffering a concussion — and help determine who might need quicker referrals to specialists.
[Anthropologist Richard Wrangham writes:] Women don’t like many specific acts of demonic males. But paradoxically, many women do regularly find attractive the cluster of qualities and behaviors—successful aggression, dominance and displays of dominance—associated with male demonism. Both men and women are active participants in the very system that nurtures the continued success of demonic males;
Relatively few studies are available on realistic cumulative risk assessments for dietary pesticide exposure. Despite available studies showing low risk, public concern remains. … The present article proposes a new method to estimate average residue levels in imported foods based on residue monitoring data and knowledge about agronomic practices. The two methods were used in
While most of the personality tests shared around the internet are, indeed, bogus procrastination devices, there is a science to personality, and it’s something that researchers really can put into a quantified, testable format, said Simine Vazire, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis. The most popular — used by the vast majority
In the waning hours of 2017, like a politician holding inconvenient news for a Friday afternoon, Business Insider published a terrifying headline: “Chocolate is on track to go extinct in 40 years.” That claim was repeated uncritically around the web as the story gained viral strength, capping a year of difficult news. Contrary to its click-ready headline, however, the
A global team led by researchers in Australia has achieved a dramatic breakthrough in dealing with stem rust, a fungal pathogen that causes widespread damage to wheat. For the first time, agricultural scientists have been able determine what’s going on at the gene level of the rust pathogen, allowing them to quickly detect its presence in a
Here, semantic network analysis is performed to characterize the presentation of the term “GMO (genetically modified organism),” a proxy for food developed from GE crops, on the web. Texts from three sources are analyzed: U.S. federal websites, top pages from a Google search, and online news titles. We found that the framing and sentiment (positive,
Uganda is steadily progressing towards having a potato that will not require chemical spraying. … According to Dr Alex Barekye, who is the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research Development Institute in Kabale District, this new variety has shown great results in resisting late Blight disease that is a menace in potato growing areas. …
The way children view both social and nonsocial situations may be determined at least in part by their genes, a new study of identical and fraternal twins suggests. Identical twins tend to look at the same parts of pictures, whether they depict children playing or an object, such as a musical instrument. Fraternal twins also
Between April and June , Canadians participated in an unprecedented experiment: supermarket shoppers bought about five tonnes of genetically engineered (GE) Atlantic salmon, making it the first transgenic animal approved and sold for human consumption anywhere in the world. What’s notable, beyond the precedent, is that none of the shoppers knew they were buying it.
Are bees endangered because of the use of insecticides, and in particular the class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids, which are used on many crops? It’s a debate that’s played out in research laboratories and in the media over the past decade since the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder roiled the bee industry in
Plant pathologist Dilip Shah: GMO peanuts could help eliminate a potent threat to human health in the developing world.
Katie Pinke is the general manager/publisher of AgWeek I decided to visit the Non-GMO Project website and Twitter profile to look through their information shared about creating a “non-GMO” world. The people behind the project are a marketing machine, doing everything they can to get consumers to avoid GMOs in food. They’ve convinced millions of
Almost a quarter of British honey samples remain contaminated after a partial ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, new research has revealed. The contamination rate has fallen – it was more than half before the ban – but the study shows that the potent insecticides remain prevalent in the farmed environment and still pose a serious risk
Andrew Kniss is a professor of weed science at the University of Wyoming Genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant crops have been widely adopted by farmers in the United States and other countries around the world, and these crops have caused significant changes in herbicide use patterns. GE crops have been blamed for increased problems with herbicide-resistant
The following is part of a speech by environmental writer and activist Mark Lynas at the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference [W]hat might a peace treaty look like? What might be the give and take on both sides of this enduringly fractious controversy? Here’s my seven-point plan. … Environmentalists accept the science of GMO safety, and scientists
Beyond the glittery glass-and-sandstone walls of the University of California’s new biosciences building, rows of tiny green cacao seedlings in refrigerated greenhouses await judgment day. Under the watchful eye of Myeong-Je Cho, the director of plant genomics at an institute that’s working with food and candy company Mars, the plants will be transformed. If all goes
What has the world come to when people get death threats for expressing an opinion about agriculture? The toxicity of the debate about farming in general and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in particular is so entrenched that Mark Lynas, a prominent British journalist and environmentalist who publicly changed his mind about genetic modification, wasn’t even
Eyes are said to be the window to the soul—but researchers at Google see them as indicators of a person’s health. The technology giant is using deep learning to predict a person’s blood pressure, age and smoking status by analysing a photograph of their retina. Google’s computers glean clues from the arrangement of blood vessels—and
When some of our white blood cells detect viruses or other microbes that have invaded our bodies, they may alert other cells to the threat by spraying out some of their DNA. This unexpected warning system, described in a study…could hasten the body’s response to pathogens. … Researchers already know that some of our cells
Education in England is no better than mediocre, and billions of pounds have been wasted on pointless university courses and Sure Start schemes for young children, Michael Gove’s special adviser has said in an outspoken private thesis written a few weeks before he is due to step down from his post. Dominic Cummings, the most influential
University of California, Berkeley scientists have for the first time used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to disable a defective gene that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in mice, extending their lifespan by 25 percent. The therapy delayed the onset of the muscle wasting that characterizes the disease, which results in progressive weakness and
A rare smidgen of ancient DNA has sharpened the picture of one of humanity’s greatest migrations. Some 15,000 to 25,000 years ago, people wandered from Asia to North America across a now-submerged land called Beringia, which once connected Siberia and Alaska. But exactly when these ancient settlers crossed and how many migrations occurred are hotly
British neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli first set out to study Alzheimer’s because of his grandfather, who developed the disease when Jebelli was 12. … “Losing your keys, forgetting where you put your glasses, is completely normal,” he says. “But when you find your glasses and your keys and you think, ‘What are these for?’ — that’s
The term junk DNA was used to describe sequences that that do not code for proteins. Largely ignored by researchers, this junk DNA is attracting the attention of scientists who see an untapped resource.
Puzzle solvers at the website Fold.it, a crowdsourcing project, are being asked to look for new and efficient ways to fold selected virtual proteins. Scientists hope to replicate the strategies in the real world as a way of fighting a toxin linked to as many as 155,000 cases of liver cancer annually.
Should it matter if the public is wary of gene editing and human enhancement? | Grant Jacobs Global glyphosate herbicide ban would cause substantial damage to economy and environment, study shows | Graham Brookes Even if you don’t believe in God, religion may shape your subconscious thinking | Jamin Halberstadt, Brittany Cardwell Are seed patent protections abused
Marketers have learned to never underestimate the power of claiming superiority due to the absence of something. Nowhere is this trend more evident today than in the popularity of ‘-free’ labels, which have skyrocketed in the food industry. Food singled out by its lack of given ingredients (artificial dyes, transfats, gluten, high fructose corn syrup,
The same kind of DNA tinkering that produced the first FDA-approved gene therapy for cancer has shown hints of suppressing and even eradicating HIV infection in lab animals, scientists have reported. Although the study was small—it tested the genetically engineered “CAR” cells on only two monkeys as well as on cells growing in lab dishes—it suggests that after
DNA from an infant who died in Alaska some 11,500 years ago is giving scientists the best look yet at the genetics of the ancestors of today’s native peoples of the Americas. Decoding the infant’s complete set of DNA let researchers estimate the timing of key events in the ancestral history of today’s Native Americans
Civil society activists have backed President Museveni for rejecting to assent to the Biosafety Bill 2017, saying the move saved the country’s indigenous species and the environment. The activists from Environment and Food Sovereignty, a consortium of environmentalists and food rights activists, argued that the Biosafety Bill in its current form sought to abolish the
Stakeholders in the agricultural biotechnology sector are offering assurances that the problems that prompted Burkina Faso to temporarily halt cultivation of genetically engineered cotton won’t be repeated with GMO crops in other African countries. … The GMO cultivar (Bt cotton) introduced in Burkina Faso in 2008 had been engineered with genes from Bacillus thuringiensis, a soil
Pioneering new technology is set to accelerate the global quest for crop improvement in a development which echoes the Green Revolution of the post war period. The speed-breeding platform developed by teams at the John Innes Centre, University of Queensland and University of Sydney, uses a glasshouse or an artificial environment with enhanced lighting to
For the first time, researchers have found that the environment you’re raised in is as important as your genes in determining risk for major depression. In a large retrospective study, researchers looked at depression diagnoses among more than 2.2 million people in Sweden and their parents and found that genetic factors and household environment contributed
In Saudi Arabia, if you’re planning to tie the knot, there’s a step you must go through that doesn’t happen anywhere else: You have to get a test for genetic disease. Hereditary blood diseases like sickle cell and beta thalassemia are prevalent in this part of the world, where marriage between cousins is common. A new awareness campaign
I’m an apple loyalist—I pack one as an after-lunch snack nearly every day of the week. So I jumped at the chance to sample this [Arctic Golden apple, the first genetically modified apple available to consumers], at an event hosted by the environmental technology think tank the Breakthrough Institute in San Francisco. The apple was crisp and
Drinking alcohol raises the risk of cancer by damaging DNA, scientists have discovered for the first time, leading health experts to call for people to cut down on their consumption. … Now a new study by the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University, has found that when the body processes alcohol it produces a
Many forms of cancer go undetected until a later stage, making them hard to treat and putting patients at greater risk of death. On the flip side, many existing tests provide too many false positives that lead to risky surgeries. … Physicians must therefore strike a careful balance that enables both early and accurate detection
Consumer groups and farmers in Japan fear the repercussions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP), which is quickly moving forward on the heels of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conference of the other ten nations (including Australia, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam) now involved in talks. … The story of GMOs in Japan is one
As women begin to receive uterine transplants, the question is being asked of when they will be available for men or transgender people.
Anti-GMO critics often claim major agricultural companies use seed patents to control farmers rights, which they say also limits innovation.
In the early 90s, I lived in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, known for music, art, and its green Valle del Turbio. This valley carried the name of the Rio Turbio that runs through it. … From our home, the beautiful vista looked idyllic, until the sugarcane was harvested. … To harvest the sugarcane, which occurred more than
Researchers at Egypt’s National Research Center (NRC), affiliated with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, obtained a patent for a new [genetically engineered] compound, which includes microorganisms that increases wheat yields in arid and semi-arid regions by as much as 68 percent. “The new compound would contribute to increasing wheat productivity by making it
Here are three fast-moving areas of neuroscience we’ll be watching in 2018: … [S]cientists at Brown University are developing salt-grain-sized “neurograins” containing an electrode to detect neural firing as well as to zap neurons to fire, all via a radio frequency antenna. … Such “stimdust” would be “the smallest [nerve] stimulator ever built,” [researcher Michel]
We are in the age of the Cavendish, a banana cultivar that accounts for 99 percent of imports to the Western world. But the Cavendish is in trouble. … At the heart of the conflict is the sturdy little fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense; it infects and kills banana plants and, since the banana industry relies so heavily on one
Most people would tell you that bad breath is brought on by a combination of bad luck and garlic. According to a new study in Nature Genetics, genes may play a direct role as well. Researchers at U.C. Davis have found that a the gene for a protein known as a SELENBP1 may be implicated in bad (specifically cabbage-scented)
Of the several claims of “anti-science” that clutter our national debates these days, none can be more flagrantly clear than the campaign against modern agricultural technology, most specifically the use of molecular techniques to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs). … a concerted, deep-pockets campaign, as relentless as it is baseless, has persuaded a high percentage
James Burke has a vision for the future. He believes that by the middle of this century, perhaps as early as 2042, our world will be defined by a new device: the nanofabricator. … You’ll pour in some raw materials—perhaps water, air, dirt, and a few powders of rare elements if required—and the nanofabricator will go to
Müllerian mimicry is a well-studied phenomenon, particularly in butterflies, in which completely unrelated species come to display the same patterns and coloration. Each species is unpalatable to eat for different reasons, but all have come to share the same visual cues to make this point known to their common predators. As a group, sending the
The first two novel gene therapies for cancer treatment passed through FDA approval earlier this year, first B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) followed quickly by Yescarta for large B-cell lymphoma – a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One more gene therapy squeaked in before year’s end, not for cancer treatment, but an inherited form of vision loss that can lead to blindness called biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated retinal dystrophy. The treatment
How society regards the use of genetic modification and genome editing can have a significant influence on how these technologies are regulated by authorities and on the pace of technological advancement. In a review published in the Journal of Dairy Science authors from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences discuss potential applications of genetic modification and genome
The Non-GMO Project spreads misleading and inaccurate information about food, agriculture and health on its website and social media. This was apparent on Sunday, December 17th, when the organization tweeted about farmers’ rights and plant breeding: … Holding “GMO” liable for the transformation of plants into intellectual property remains a common misconception about agriculture, and one that
Activists say glyphosate can be replaced with natural herbicides—but “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re safer or better for the environment than synthetic chemicals.
23andMe, following a banner Christmas season for sales of its personal DNA-testing kits, has just announced a large-scale study intended to uncover the genetic reasons why diet and exercise have different effects on different people. … “We’d like to better understand the genetic, demographic, psychosocial and behavioral characteristics that predict weight loss success overall, and
Although non-believers reject religion, Christian beliefs still shape much of Western thought. Both believers and non-believers have similar subconscious attitudes towards the existence of a god, according to a recent study.
[The following is part of a letter from the editor of MIT Technology Review, David Rotman.] Decades of fretting over the safety and virtue of genetically modified organisms have led to a perverse outcome. Plant scientists in academia and startup companies have largely shied away from creating new GM crop varieties because it takes, on average, more
Rich Fletcher spent 11 years tinkering with the genetics of the canola plant in pursuit of a single goal: Lowering the fat content of the oil it produces, one of the most widely used food additives in the world. He succeeded. His employer, Cargill Inc., will begin selling the new, healthier oil to food companies
When cotton traders in Burkina Faso announced in 2015 that they were phasing out the cultivation of genetically modified cotton, they attributed it to losing 50 billion CFA (US$89.5 million) in five of the seven seasons the nation had grown the variety. The GM seeds were producing cotton with shorter fibers, which produces a lower quality fabric, so trading companies
The U.S. Department of Agriculture fails at regulation of organic food as fraudulent products overwhelm the agency’s conflicted, compromised system, a NerdWallet investigation has found. The USDA’s National Organic Program has not kept up with the explosive growth of organic food production and sales — either in staffing or enforcement, NerdWallet found. … The system today
Just like humans, plants can succumb to the effects of general anesthetic drugs, researchers report in the Annals of Botany. The finding is striking for a variety of reasons—there’s the pesky fact that plants lack a central nervous system, for one thing. But, perhaps more noteworthy is that scientists still aren’t sure how general anesthetics work on
When David Liu first heard about a strain of mouse from his colleague Zheng-Yi Chen, he got excited. The mice carry a gene, TMC1, with a mutation that leads to deafness over time, giving them the name Beethoven mice. Their mutation matches one in humans that produces the same effect. … In the Beethoven mouse, he
Working with mice, researchers have used gene therapy to restore sight to the blind, reprogram the body’s own T cells to attack cancerous tumors, prevent the formation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s brains, and more. But the US Food and Drug Administration and many other international regulatory bodies have been slow to approve human trials
It was a big year for the building blocks of life. Here were the most significant breakthroughs in genetics research of 2017. … In a landmark decision made this past August, the Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for childhood leukemia that works by genetically modifying a patient’s own blood cells to turn them into cancer killers. …
A survey of people in the US and 10 European nations found opposition to some forms of gene editing for humans, particularly when embryos are involved.
Until recently, gene editing used to be relegated to science fiction novels and movies. The idea of being able to edit our genetic code or the genetics of other creatures was something that was totally out of reach — until CRISPR changed all that. … What has Crispr been used for and what could it help accomplish
A recent study of middle- and high school athletes found that the female athletes took twice as long to be symptom-free as the male athletes. Shockingly, the female athletes took nearly a full month to report being symptom-free, while the male athletes took less than two weeks. It was reported widely across the media as evidence the young women may
When it comes to the perpetrator of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the finger of blame has long pointed to hard deposits of protein in the brain known as amyloid plaques. But smouldering signs of inflammation are also clearly evident in the background. Now a paper in Nature reveals how the two processes connive. During inflammation, specks
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has declined to sign into law a bill on the development and application of genetically modified organisms (GMO) technology in the country. The National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012 seeks to provide a regulatory framework that facilitates the safe development and application of biotechnology, research, development and release of GMOs. In
A new study finds that a ban on glyphosate would cause billions of dollars in economic losses and increase the use of more toxic herbicides greenhouse gas emissions.
Ever since scientists first used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit living human cells in 2013, they’ve been saying that the possibilities for using it to treat disease are virtually endless…. The hope is that CRISPR could be used in a one-time procedure to cure some of the most devastating inherited disorders and cancers, some of which have no
To many scientists, the potential of gene editing seems nearly limitless, offering a new way to rapidly create plants that are drought-resistant, immune to disease, or improved in flavor. A supermarket tomato that tastes good? That could happen if scientists restore the flavor-making genes that make heirloom varieties delicious. What about a corn plant with
We’re standing on the threshold of extraordinary capability in synthetic biology. CRISPR-Cas9, the genome editing technique discovered in 2014, is at the forefront of this newfound potential for innovation. These advancements provide an opportunity to solve problems in food supply, disease, genetics, and—the most tantalizing and forbidden of prospects—modifying the human genome…. However, many experts warn
To better understand [incurable inherited disease neurofibromatosis type 1, Charles] Konsitzke learned, you need a species that’s closer in both size and biology to a person, and yet is still relatively easy to raise and study. That is, you need pigs. “Pigs closely represent humans,” says Neha Patel, who directs the UW neurofibromatosis clinic. “People with
Berkeley-based Perfect Day – which is creating ‘vegan’ dairy proteins without cows – is in talks with food industry partners about scaling up production in order to introduce dairy ingredients that vegans, vegetarians and dairy lovers alike can enjoy in products “in every aisle of the grocery store.” … Perfect Day is one of a
Genetic testing kits you can do at home seem to be on many holiday wish lists this year; one even landed on Oprah’s list of favorite things. The affordable kits, like those from 23andMe and ancestry.com, can scan your genes from a spit sample. But it’s important to know what they can and cannot do when
Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk. MIT engineers have taken a critical first step toward making that vision a reality. By embedding specialized nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, they induced the plants to
The agricultural biotech sector is cheering President Donald Trump’s assault on regulatory overreach, seeing its best shot in years to streamline 30-year-old rules governing approval of genetically engineered crops. Agritech companies want Trump’s USDA to revamp rules that they say block innovation and are hopelessly antiquated. Doing so, they say, would enable farmers to produce
If you thought the sex lives of humans were complicated, consider the case of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, bringer of Zika, dengue, and yellow fever: She mates but once, in seconds and on the wing, with one lucky male; spurns all further advances from other potential suitors; and stores enough sperm from that single encounter to
The first gene therapy to restore sight to individuals who suffer from a rare inherited genetic blindness was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Tuesday [Dec. 19]. The treatment, developed by Philadelphia drug maker Spark Therapeutics and researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, represents the first gene therapy for a genetic disease in
The [Canadian] federal government has proposed tighter restrictions around two insecticides that are harmful to bees, but stopped short of an all-out ban. Health Canada announced new mitigation measures [Tuesday, Dec. 19] on the neonicotinoids clothianidin and thiamethoxam, pesticides which are sold as seed treatment or sprays to protect agricultural crops from various insects. Under proposed