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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...

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...

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...

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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).

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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.                       

Next Generation of Biofuels Still Years Away

November 14, 2013 3:16 am | by JONATHAN FAHEY - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The first trickle of fuels made from agricultural waste is finally winding its way into the nation's energy supply, after years of broken promises and hype promoting a next-generation fuel source cleaner than oil.           

Agrochemicals Linked to Health Problems in Argentina

October 20, 2013 9:56 am | by MICHAEL WARREN - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Argentine farmworker Fabian Tomasi was never trained to handle pesticides. His job was to keep the crop-dusters flying by filling their tanks as quickly as possible, although it often meant getting drenched in poison. Now, at 47, he's a living skeleton, so weak he can hardly leave his house in Entre Rios province.

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World Food Prize Foundation Takes on Biotech Opposition

October 15, 2013 5:36 pm | by DAVID PITT - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

The World Food Prize Foundation is confronting both opposition to genetically modified crops and the divisive issue of global warming as it gathers this week. The Foundation is awarding this year's prize to three biotechnology pioneers, infuriating environmental groups and others opposed to large-scale farming.

Scientists Help Deliver Genetic One-two Blow to Deadly Wheat Disease

August 21, 2013 10:03 am | News | Comments

A new gene that will equip wheat plants to resist the deadly stem rust disease has been discovered by an international team that includes plant scientists at the University of California, Davis. The discovery of genes that confer resistance to wheat stem rust disease is important for global food security, as a new, highly aggressive race of the fungus that causes wheat stem rust appeared about a decade ago in Africa and has been spreading.

Fungus Linked to Worsening AIDS Epidemic

July 23, 2013 10:03 am | News | Comments

A type of fungus coating much of the stored corn, wheat, rice and nuts in developing countries may be quietly worsening the AIDS epidemic, according to a new study. Kept in sacks piled in barns and warehouses, food stores in countries near the equator are contaminated by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, fungi that produce a toxic substance called aflatoxin.

Comparing Genomes, RNA of Wild and Domestic Tomato

June 27, 2013 11:31 am | News | Comments

You say tomato, I say comparative transcriptomics. Researchers in the U.S., Europe and Japan have produced the first comparison of both the DNA sequences and which genes are active, or being transcribed, between the domestic tomato and its wild cousins.

Genes Behind Fruit Ripening Revealed

June 12, 2013 9:53 am | News | Comments

It's common wisdom that one rotten apple in a barrel spoils all the other apples, and that an apple ripens a green banana if they are put together in a paper bag. Ways to ripen, or spoil, fruit have been known for thousands of years. Now, scientists have traced the thousands of genes in a plant that are activated once ethylene gas is released.

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Unapproved, GM Wheat Found in Oregon Field

May 30, 2013 4:21 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Field workers at an Eastern Oregon wheat farm were clearing acres for the bare offseason when they came across a patch of wheat that didn't belong. The workers sprayed it and sprayed it, but the wheat wouldn't die. Their confused boss grabbed a few stalks and sent it to a university lab in early May.

Biotech Potato Breeds Pitched to FDA

May 14, 2013 1:44 pm | by JOHN MILLER - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A dozen years after a customer revolt forced Monsanto to ditch its genetically engineered potato, another company aims to resurrect high-tech spuds. This month, tuber processing giant J.R. Simplot Co. asked the U.S. government to approve five varieties of biotech potatoes. They're engineered not to develop ugly black bruises.

An Unexpected Finding

March 28, 2013 9:28 am | by Robert Fee | Articles | Comments

Some of science’s most interesting stories arise from accidents or unexpected results. Sir Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin is probably the most famous example, but a more recent discovery could lead to a way to block disease transmission between insects and, ultimately, lead to healthier humans and less crop damage.

Lawmakers Weigh Bills on GM Food Labeling

March 21, 2013 5:06 pm | by LAUREN GAMBINO - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Oregon lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on several bills to require labels on genetically modified food and prohibit importing genetically modified fish. Supporters say consumers should know what kind of food they are buying at the grocery store.

Plant Epigenetics Can Benefit Disease Studies

March 7, 2013 10:06 am | News | Comments

Scientists have identified patterns of epigenomic diversity that not only allow plants to adapt to various environments, but could also benefit crop production and the study of human diseases.

Re-Engineering Photosynthesis to Make Drugs

March 6, 2013 12:17 pm | News | Comments

Scientists are reporting an advance in re-engineering photosynthesis to transform plants into bio-factories that manufacture high-value ingredients for medicines, fabrics, fuels and other products.

BIO Commends EPA Rule on New Biofuels

February 25, 2013 2:22 pm | by Biotechnology Industry Organization | News | Comments

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EPA approved camelina, energy cane, and renewable gasoline as cellulosic and advanced biofuels that can meet the Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements. Additional pathways await approval.

Resistant Starches Can Protect Against Cancer

February 20, 2013 11:35 am | News | Comments

A new study shows that resistant starch helps the body resist colorectal cancer through mechanisms including killing pre-cancerous cells and reducing inflammation that can otherwise promote cancer.

Reports of toxic milk trigger scare in Balkans

February 19, 2013 8:33 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Reports that milk in the Balkans has been contaminated by a cancer-causing toxin have triggered a major health scare throughout the region, with authorities appealing for calm before official tests are conclusive. Senior agriculture official Goran Jesic claims on his website that out of 35 tested...

High-stakes fight over soybeans at US high court

February 18, 2013 9:30 am | by MARK SHERMAN - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

Vernon Hugh Bowman seems comfortable with the old way of doing things, right down to the rotary-dial telephone he said he was using in a conference call with reporters. But the 75-year-old U.S. farmer figured out a way to benefit from a high-technology product, soybeans that are resistant to...

'Green Revolution' center sees future in GM seeds

February 13, 2013 8:42 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The research center largely responsible for launching the "green revolution" of the 1960s is now planning to develop more genetically-modified seeds to help farmers in the developing world grow more grain in the face of changing climate conditions and increased demand. Donations of $25 million...

New, Disease Resistant Wheat Developed

February 12, 2013 11:50 am | News | Comments

Wheat breeders have developed a higher-yielding soft white winter wheat, known as Kaseberg, that is also resistant to the disease stripe rust.

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