Reviews & Previews
Big ChickenMaryn McKennaNational Geographic, $27
Journalist Maryn McKenna opens Big Chicken by teasing our taste buds with a description of the succulent roasted chickens she bought at an open-air market in Paris. The birds tasted nothing like the bland, uniform chicken offered at U.S. grocery stores. This meat had an earthy, lush, animal flavor. From this tantalizing oh-so-European...
News in Brief
Cabbage-chomping moths genetically modified to be real lady-killers may soon take flight in upstate New York. On July 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture OK’d a small open-air trial of GM diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella), which the agency says do not pose a threat to human or environmental health.
These male moths carry a gene that kills female offspring before they mature....
Climate change might be great news for pests looking to munch on genetically modified crops, researchers propose.
In particular, researchers analyzed 21 years of data from Maryland cornfields and suggest that rising temperatures might help corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) develop resistance faster to a widespread genetically built-in crop protection.
Some commercial varieties of...
A dinner plate piled high with food from plants might not deliver the same nutrition toward the end of this century as it does today. Climate change could shrink the mineral and protein content of wheat, rice and other staple crops, mounting evidence suggests.
Selenium, a trace element essential for human health, already falls short in diets of one in seven people worldwide. Studies link...
Corn genetically engineered to make ninjalike molecules can launch an attack on invading fungi, stopping the production of carcinogenic toxins.
These specialized RNA molecules lie in wait until they detect Aspergillus, a mold that can turn grains and beans into health hazards. Then the molecules pounce, stopping the mold from producing a key protein responsible for making aflatoxins,...
The Science Life
View the video
Eijiro Miyako gets emotional about the decline of honeybees.
“We need pollination,” he says. “If that system is collapsed, it’s terrible.”
Insects, especially bees, help pollinate both food crops and wild plants. But pollinators are declining worldwide due to habitat loss, disease and exposure to pesticides, among other factors (SN: 1/23/16, p. 16).
How many stressed-out stinkbugs does it take to spoil a batch of wine? More than three per grape cluster, new research says.
Stinkbugs are a pest among vintners because of the bugs’ taste for wine grapes and namesake foul smell. When accidentally harvested with the grapes and fermented during the wine-making process, the live insects can release their stink and ruin the wine (SN: 5/5/07...
In a remote corner of eastern Russia, where long winters bring temperatures that rarely flicker above freezing, the genetic legacy of ancient hunter-gatherers endures.
DNA from the 7,700-year-old remains of two women is surprisingly similar to that of people living in that area today, researchers report February 1 in Science Advances. That finding suggests that at least some people in...
Mooooove over CRISPR chickens, pigs and goats. Everyone’s favorite DNA-editing tool is another step closer to transforming the barnyard.
Researchers at China’s Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University devised a CRISPR/Cas 9 technique to give cloned dairy cows a leg up against the bacteria behind bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis). Last year, another group used TALENs, an...
News in Brief
Mooooove over CRISPR chickens, pigs and goats. The powerful gene-editing tool is another step closer to transforming the barnyard.
Researchers at China’s Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University tailored a CRISPR/Cas 9 technique to give cloned dairy cows a leg up against the bacteria behind bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), a threat to cows in many parts of the world. Last...