If you wanted to, say, turn a red pepper yellow, you have a few options. You could directly tinker with with the plant's genetic code, tweaking the genes that control its colour. Or, perhaps, you could just mist the plant with a spray that changes its gene expression without altering its genetics.
Tagged With agriculture
On January 1, a set of long-awaited FDA rules went into effect that could mark a major shift in the agency's approach to antibiotics for livestock animals. First, the new US policies place an outright ban on the use of any antibiotics considered "medically important" to help animals gain weight. The rules also require that such drugs only be given to animals under the supervision of a veterinarian, when animals are actually ill.
Last week, Nigerian officials seized over 100 bags of what was claimed to be plastic rice. Lab tests have since shown the product isn't fake, as Gizmodo and other outlets reported. But it is badly contaminated rice that's unsafe for human consumption. The incident is casting light on the sorry state of the economy and food production in Nigeria — along with a government that's anxious to deflect the blame elsewhere.
Agriculture company Monsanto has acquired a non-exclusive global licensing agreement from MIT's Broad Institute and Harvard to use the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system. The firm will use it to design and grow new seeds and plants, but there are key restrictions on its use to prevent Monsanto from abusing this revolutionary new technology.
Harvesting the edible parts of any plant in a timely manner usually requires some very specialised tools. Poppy seeds get hoovered up by a giant old-timey lawnmower. Potatoes take a shovel escalator before ending up your plate. And currants — those tasty little berries that usually get made into jam — well, they get this wonky thing.
The now-dead El Niño wreaked serious havoc upon our food supply, from poisoning shellfish to obliterating stone fruits. Now the avocado is at risk. In Australia and New Zealand, a double whammy of massive fires and heavy rains wiped out avocado crops, causing a shortage of the brunch staple. Growers would have been able to manage, if it weren't for a sudden and skyrocketing avocado demand.
The largest source of deadly air pollution in many parts of the world isn't cars or power plants — it's farms. That's the unsettling conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, who found that agricultural nitrogen emissions are a major contributor to fine particulate matter, tiny particles that cause heart disease and respiratory problems.