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Posts Tagged "genetic engineering"

Brainwaves

Film Review: GMO OMG SRSLY? An #EpicFail in Exercising Our Right to Know

GMO-opponent

Jeremy Seifert’s new documentary “GMO OMG” opens with a series of maudlin pastoral scenes—sun-dappled forests, kids playing outdoors, a close-up of ants crawling in a line—as a man’s somber voice reads Wendell Berry’s poem “The Peace of Wild Things.” With this subtle Malickian prelude out of the way, the film begins more earnestly. Lately, Seifert [...]

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Food Matters

Genetically Modified Cheese… Is Nothing Safe? At the Boundaries of the GMO Controversy

The rind of Baley Hazen Blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in VT

A couple of years ago, my fiancée and I wanted to try to make some home-made mozzarella cheese, but ran into a problem. In order to turn milk into cheese, you have to add a substance called “rennet,” which causes the milk to coagulate, allowing you to separate the curd (mostly fats and hydrophobic proteins) [...]

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Food Matters

Another Year, Another Post on GMOs and Allergies

Peanut plants fed to lesser cornstalk borer larvae. The bottom plant was genetically engineered to express Bt Cry proteins. Source: Wikimedia commons

I was on a bit of a hiatus on blogging last month, but a lot of good things happened. I had a manuscript accepted for publication at Cell, I got my box checked (which means I have permission to start writing my dissertation, which means I should be graduating this year), and my fiancée and [...]

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Food Matters

GMO Labeling Debate Follow-up

Delicious cherry tomatoes... not quite ripe.

There was a pretty huge response to my take on the GMO labeling debate last Friday. At the time of writing, there are 37 comments (for comparison, my other posts here have had between 0 and 4 comments), and I had a couple of convergent conversations on twitter and google+. I usually like to respond [...]

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Food Matters

GMO Labeling, I-522, and Why This Debate Sucks for Progressive Scientists Like Me

IMG_20130811_134200small

I’m a granola (and dirt)-eating, tree-hugging, liberal/progressive. If I was called by a pollster asking about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), I’d be counted among the folks that disapprove, but only because I think it doesn’t go far enough (I’m for single-payer, but I could have settled for the public option). I think we should [...]

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Food Matters

Variolation, Aviation, and Genetic Modification: Progress in the Face of Fear and Danger

The Wright Brothers' Plane (click for source)

In 1721, a small pox epidemic was ripping through the colonial city of Boston. Cotton Mather, a Reverend and Royal minister, convinced the physician Zebadiah Boylston to perform an arcane medical procedure on two slaves and Mather’s own son. The procedure, called “variolation,” involved piercing the skin of the patient with needle that was contaminated [...]

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Observations

How to Save Coral Reefs from Climate Change: Genetic Manipulation

palmyra-reef

What’s the best idea for reducing the impacts of ocean acidification on the environment and society? After all, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to go up and up and up, which suggests that the pH of seawater will continue to fall and fall and fall. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has weighed [...]

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Observations

Can fermenting microbes save us from climate change?

Clostridium-ljungdahlii

Just as bacteria and fungi are methodically breaking down the millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, microbes might help us with another uncontrolled emission due to human activity—carbon dioxide. An anaerobic bacteria by the name of Clostridium ljungdahlii can ferment everything from sugars to simple mixtures of carbon dioxide and [...]

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Oscillator

“What if I told you I was a genetically modified human?”

Megan Daalder -- Project Eureka

Megan Daalder‘s Project Eureka is a shape-shifting and multidimensional narrative about life, science, and technology after the end of the world. At her work-in-progress exhibition at the UCLA Art|Science gallery, which opened this week, she invites us to visit Eureka’s future, set in the year 2050. In this future “the ‘Naturals’ have won,” and society [...]

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