Scientists are testing the ability of simple chemicals to evolve under the guidance of a robot. Could this be one of the ways that life originated?
To address climate change, solutions must be found in agriculture. Sustainable intensification of agriculture, including the use of GMOs, could increase resource efficiency for farmers while aiding global goals of increasing carbon stock in soils, trees and perennials.
Despite the yuck factor, bacteria that colonize our bodies are proving to be an effective source of medical treatments including a new antibiotic derived from a vaginal microbe.
In a subtle comment, a critic of biotech pointedly identified the number of companies a researcher has founded to underscore their wrong-minded participation in our capitalist economy. But it’s naive to believe that because someone operates on the cutting edge of biotech he or she should also eschew capitalism or ignore the ways science is funded.
North America’s most prominent bee experts challenge a well-publicized ‘Harvard study’ that blamed neonicotinoids for bee deaths and Colony Collapse Disorder. As is often true in science, real life is more complicated than the narratives framed by industry or activists. So why are so many journalists willing to enable misinformation?
The high costs and uncertainty about the regulation of GMOs have slowed the rate of innovation of new traits and prevented the development of many second-generation varieties that could improve our well-being, enhance environmental sustainability and make a major contribution to addressing climate change.
One side benefit of Bt corn is its ability to reduce mycotoxin contamination, which could provide health and economic benefits in both wealthier and less developed countries.
Crops are failing in the first year of the neonicotinoid ban, anti-neonic scientists are tainted by conflicts of interest, the EU’s own science on bee mortality does not raise alarm-bells and the European Commission admits that the moratorium would have no significant benefit for bee populations.
A few simple mutations seem to protect some people against alcohol abuse. But mostly the relationship between genes and alcohol’s effects is very complicated. And it’s not clear that light drinking is healthful, either.
Calls for increased regulation do not account for the robust review already in place. The safety of GM food and crops is not in question in the scientific community. The current regulatory program ensures their safety both in the farm field and for consumers.