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Posts Tagged "gmo"

@ScientificAmerican

Satisfy Your Curiosity with Our New E-Book, Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food

Future of Food Cover

Still hungry after devouring our September 2013 single topic issue: Food? Engage in some guilt-free gluttony with our new companion eBook: Can We Feed the World? The Future of Food. With global population numbers projected to increase by 2 billion by 2050, a veritable food crisis is on the horizon. In this eBook, we examine [...]

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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

Genetically Engineered Bananas – Audiommunity with Pamela Ronald

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 3.49.18 PM

Bananas are delicious. Personally, my favorite consumption methods are in oatmeal or cereal, in smoothies, or just on their own (for the record, I peel them the right way, not from the stem like some savage). But bananas aren’t just some tasty delicacy, they’re actually a staple crop for millions of people, just behind wheat, [...]

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Food Matters

Vox Off to a Good Start on GMOs

Vox Logo

Vox.com is a new news site that aims to do things a bit differently. Led by Ezra Klein, formerly of the Washington Post “Wonk Blog,” news stories at Vox are supposed to rely more on data, and actually provide the data behind stories so that readers can judge for themselves. Klein made a name for [...]

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Food Matters

Of Course GMOs Are Not Harmful, But Maybe . . .

800px-Feld_mit_reifer_Baumwolle

History laughs at the losing teams whose scientific theories crumble under the weight of evidence. The Sun orbits the Earth. Continents stand still. Surgeons can’t spread germs between patients. Food and crops grown from genetically modified or engineered seeds do not, in any way, harm human or ecosystem health. Or do they, in some, tiny, [...]

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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

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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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Food Matters

The Genetics of the Immune System

a-new-vision-for-teaching-science_1

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with a group of students from Grandview Heights School in Edmonton, Canada. The students are learning about genetics, and the instructor, John Chase asked me to talk about how genetics impacts my field, and to give them a perspective on how this stuff translates to the real world. [...]

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Food Matters

Viruses and virulence with a side of GMOs: Podcasts I’ve been on recently

Ebola_virus_em

Lab work can often be a bit tedious. I often make the joke (not entirely innacurate) that my entire job is moving very small amounts of liquid between different tubes in a controlled manner. In order to combat this tedium, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts of various sorts, from short shows [...]

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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

Live Chat: The Truth about Genetically Modified Food

Flickr/Chiot's Run

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are essential to feeding the world, proponents say. Tampering with nature is perilous, critics say. Who is right? Scientific American editor Michael Moyer hosted a 30-minute conversation on Tuesday, August 20  at noon EDT, to explore this question with David H. Freedman, journalist and author of Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us—And [...]

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Observations

Mystery Lingers around Origin of GM Wheat in Oregon

Triticum_polonicum_L_7

When the fresh wheat samples arrived at her lab this spring, Carol Mallory-Smith, a weed scientist, didn’t know what to expect. The concerned farmer who sent them had contacted her because a patch of wheat had refused to die after being treated with a powerful herbicide called Roundup. “The farmer asked me if the wheat [...]

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Plugged In

Dialogue on Sustainable Food and Agricultural Biotech Begins Today, Not Everyone’s Thrilled

Insect resistant corn growing in Kenya

How will humanity feed 9 billion people in the year 2050? That’s the question that helped harvest this year’s World Food Prize recipients, including Marc Van Montagu, Mary-Dell Chilton and Robert Fraley, from the field of food researchers. The trio will be honored at the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue, a symposium on agricultural research that is [...]

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