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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...

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...

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...

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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.                                   

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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.

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.

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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).

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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.

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.

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.

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