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The Lead

Discover the Real Beef About Meat

June 30, 2015 11:03 am | by University of Bristol | News | Comments

With the average cow producing 1000 times more methane than a human, meat production plays a big role in greenhouse gas emissions. But in a world where there’s a growing appetite for meat, how can our food system keep everyone happy while reducing its environmental impact?

Crop-rotation Resistant Rootworms Have A Lot Going on in Their Guts

June 10, 2015 10:35 am | by University of Illinois | News | Comments

After decades of effort, scientists are finally figuring out how insects develop resistance to...

FDA Proposes to Know More About Antibiotic Use in Animals

May 20, 2015 10:20 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration is moving to collect more information on antibiotics used in...

Five Biotech Startups to Check Out This Month

May 18, 2015 8:53 am | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

These companies are having an interesting year so far.

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USDA Develops First Government Label for GMO-free Products

May 14, 2015 9:23 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients.

Fungus Enhances Crop Roots and Could Be a Future 'Bio-fertilizer'

May 5, 2015 11:36 am | by University of Cambridge | News | Comments

“Ancient relationship” between fungi and plant roots creates genetic expression that leads to more root growth. Common fungus could one day be used as ‘bio-fertilizer’, replacing mined phosphate which is now depleted to the point of impending fertilizer crisis.

Chipotle Tosses GMOs, but Will Other Restaurants Follow?

April 30, 2015 11:37 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Articles | Comments

The national fast-food chain rid its menu of genetically-modified ingredients this week, but other restaurants might not find it as easy to go cold-turkey from the genetically engineering crops currently dominating the market.

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International Team Cracks Genetic Code of Upland Cotton

April 23, 2015 9:42 am | by Clemson University | News | Comments

The intricately woven genetic makeup of Upland cotton has been decoded for the first time in the ancient plant’s history.

With Bird Flu Spreading, USDA Starts on Potential Vaccine

April 22, 2015 10:52 am | by Steve Karnowski, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on a vaccine to counter a deadly strain of bird flu, as losses to poultry producers mount.

Report: Diversity of New England Plant Life is Threatened

March 27, 2015 10:42 am | by Bob Salsberg, Associated Press | News | Comments

The report studied more than 3,500 known plant species and determined that 22 percent are considered rare, in decline, endangered or possibly extinct.

Farmers Fund Research to Breed Gluten-free Wheat

March 24, 2015 11:35 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Kansas farmers are paying for genetic research to figure out exactly why some people struggle to digest wheat.

US Anti-drugs Work in Colombia Uses Cancer-linked Herbicide

March 23, 2015 9:40 am | by Joshua Goodman, Associated Press | News | Comments

New labeling on the world's most popular weed killer as a likely cause of cancer is raising more questions for an aerial spraying program in Colombia that underpins U.S.-financed efforts to wipe out cocaine crops.

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Plant Extract Fights Brain Tumor

February 10, 2015 5:06 pm | by Max Planck Society | News | Comments

Silibinin has an outstanding safety profile in humans and is currently used for the treatment of liver disease and poisoning.                                                     

Magnificent Blue Glow of Hong Kong Seas Also Disturbing

January 23, 2015 4:30 pm | by Seth Borenstein - AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off Hong Kong's seashore are magnificent, disturbing and potentially toxic.                       

California Unveils Strictest Rules on Pesticide

January 14, 2015 3:53 pm | by Scott Smith-Associated Press | News | Comments

The new regulations surpass standards required by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.                             

Five Biotech Startups to Watch in 2015

January 13, 2015 5:02 pm | by Ryan Bushey, Associate Editor | Articles | Comments

These companies have an interesting year ahead of them.                                   

Past Shows Fragile Bones Result From Physical Inactivity

December 22, 2014 4:32 pm | News | Comments

Latest analysis of prehistoric bones show there is no anatomical reason why a person born today could not develop the skeletal strength of a prehistoric forager or a modern orangutan. Findings support the idea that activity throughout life is the key to building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis risk in later years, say researchers.

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Genetically Engineered Fruit Flies Could Save Crops

August 13, 2014 1:53 pm | News | Comments

Releasing genetically engineered fruit flies into the wild could prove to be a cheap, effective and environmentally friendly way of pest control according to scientists at the University of East Anglia and Oxitec Ltd. This collaborative research study, with UEA shows that this approach is effective and once appropriate regulatory approvals are received the technology will offer growers a safe and effective route to protect their crops.

Mixed Signals

May 27, 2014 1:42 pm | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

The intimate interaction between a plant and its environment has sent some puzzling cues to scientists trying to determine how, at the molecular level, a plant becomes infected by bacteria. At this level, researchers have found that plants sometimes beckon the bacteria in a seemingly counterintuitive action to its health.

A Tale of Two Data Sets: New DNA Analysis Strategy Helps Researchers Cut through the Dirt

March 11, 2014 1:00 pm | Videos | Comments

For soil microbiology, it is the best of times. While no one has undertaken an accurate census, a spoonful of soil holds hundreds of billions of microbial cells, encompassing thousands of species. Researchers have now published the largest soil DNA sequencing effort to date.

Genetic Clues to TB-resistant Cattle

February 13, 2014 10:15 am | News | Comments

Scientists have identified genetic traits in cattle that might allow farmers to breed livestock with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis (TB). The study, which compared the genetic code of TB-infected animals with that of disease-free cattle, could help to impact on a disease that leads to major economic losses worldwide.

Genetic Discovery to Keep Crops Disease-free

February 10, 2014 1:45 pm | News | Comments

Curtin University researchers have found a way to breed disease-resistant wheat with no downside, potentially bringing multi-million dollar savings to Australia’s agricultural industry. According to John Curtin Distinguished Professor Richard Oliver, Director of the Australian Centre for Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens at Curtin, farmers can lose more than 0.35 tonnes per hectare in wheat yields to Yellow Spot, even after applying fungicide.

RNA Sequencing of 750-year-old Barley Virus Sheds New Light on the Crusades

February 6, 2014 3:51 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have for the first time sequenced an ancient RNA genomeof a barley virus once believed to be only 150 years old— pushing its origin back at least 2,000 years and revealing how intense farming at the time of the Crusades contributed to its spread.

Soil Microbes Alter DNA in Response to Warming

January 17, 2014 11:10 am | News | Comments

As scientists forecast the impacts of climate change, one missing piece of the puzzle is what will happen to the carbon in the soil and the microbes that control the fate of this carbon as the planet warms. Scientists studying grasslands in Oklahoma have discovered that an increase of 2 degrees Celsius in the air temperature above the soil creates significant changes to the microbial ecosystem underground. 

First Comprehensive Test to Detect Genetic Modification in Food

January 15, 2014 11:26 am | News | Comments

As the abundance of genetically modified (GM) foods continues to grow, so does the demand for monitoring and labeling them. The genes of GM plants used for food are tweaked to make them more healthful or pest-resistant, but some consumers are wary of such changes.

New Invasive Plant Parasitic Nematode in Europe

December 30, 2013 9:33 am | News | Comments

Following its recent synonymisation with Meloidogyne ulmi, a species known to parasitize elm trees in Europe, it has become clear that M. mali has been in the Netherlands for more than fifty years. Evidences given by the authors suggest that M. mali was probably introduced during the breeding program on Elms against the Dutch Elm Disease (DED).

Genetic Discovery Points Way to Bigger Tomato Yields

December 27, 2013 10:42 am | News | Comments

New research has revealed one genetic mechanism for hybrid vigor, a property of plant breeding that has been exploited to boost yield since the early 20th century. Teasing out the hidden subtleties of a type of hybrid vigor involving just one gene has provided the scientists with means to tweak the length of time that bushy tomato varieties can produce flowers, which leads to a substantially higher fruit yield.

Some Plants May Not Adapt to Climate Change

December 23, 2013 10:56 am | News | Comments

Using the largest dated evolutionary tree of flowering plants ever assembled, a new study suggests how plants developed traits to withstand low temperatures, with implications that human-induced climate change may pose a bigger threat than initially thought to plants and global agriculture.

FDA Moves Toward Cutting Antibiotics in Meat

December 12, 2013 8:30 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Citing a potential threat to public health, the Food and Drug Administration is taking steps toward phasing out the use of some antibiotics in animals processed for meat.                       

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