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Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications

Abstract:

"A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%). Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ∼10-fold since 1975. Retractions exhibit distinctive temporal and geographic patterns that may reveal underlying causes."

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What's the Next Quinoa? Farmers, Foodies Revive Heritage Grains

What's the Next Quinoa? Farmers, Foodies Revive Heritage Grains | my universe | Scoop.it
Ancient grains and "orphan crops" like fonio and amaranth have advantages for farmers and consumers.
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Evolution of Sexes from an Ancestral Mating-Type Specification Pathway

Evolution of Sexes from an Ancestral Mating-Type Specification Pathway | my universe | Scoop.it
Author Summary

Sexual differentiation in eukaryotes is manifested in two fundamentally different ways. Unicellular species may have mating types where gametes are morphologically identical but can only mate with those expressing a different mating type than their own, while multicellular species such as plants and animals have male and female sexes or separate reproductive structures that produce sperm and eggs. The relationship between mating types and sexes and whether or how an ancestral mating-type system could have evolved into a sexually dimorphic system are unknown. In this study we investigated sex determination in the multicellular green alga Volvox carteri, a species with genetic sex determination; we established the relationship of V. carteri sexes to the mating types of its unicellular relative,Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Theoretical work has suggested that sexual dimorphism could be acquired by linkage of gamete size-regulatory genes to an ancestral mating-type locus. Instead, we found that a single ancestral mating locus gene, MID, evolved from its role in determining mating type in C. reinhardtii to determine either spermatogenesis or oogenesis inV. carteri. Our findings establish genetic and evolutionary continuity between the mating-type specification and sex determination pathways of unicellular and multicellular volvocine algae, and will enable a greater understanding of how a transcriptional regulator, MID, acquired control over a complex developmental pathway.

 

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Fujitsu Lettuce? In Japan, idled electronics factories find new life in farming

Fujitsu Lettuce? In Japan, idled electronics factories find new life in farming | my universe | Scoop.it
Struggling to compete with rivals in South Korea or China in businesses like televisions and smartphones, a range of Japanese electronics giants are converting idled factories to agriculture.
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This Exercise App Tracks Trends on How We Move In Different Cities

This Exercise App Tracks Trends on How We Move In Different Cities | my universe | Scoop.it
The developers of Human have complied user data into stunning visualizations that show how and where we get around.
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3D printer constructs 10 buildings in one day from recycled materials

3D printer constructs 10 buildings in one day from recycled materials | my universe | Scoop.it
While not the first to use additive manufacturing to create buildings, a Chinese company is using 3D printing technology to build cheap housing out of recycled material at a rate of up to 10 structures in 24 hours.
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PBS: The next Green Revolution may rely on microbes (2014)

PBS: The next Green Revolution may rely on microbes (2014) | my universe | Scoop.it

Ian Sanders wants to feed the world. A soft-spoken Brit, Sanders studies fungus genetics in a lab at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. But fear not, he’s not on a mad-scientist quest to get the world to eat protein pastes made from ground-up fungi. Still, he believes—he’s sure—that these microbes will be critical to meeting the world’s future food needs.

 

Sanders’s eyes widen with delight and almost childlike glee when he talks about a microscopic life form called mycorrhizal fungus, his chosen lifetime research subject. Mycorrhizal fungi live in a tightly wound, mutually beneficial embrace with most plants on the planet. Years of dedication have made Sanders into one of the world’s foremost experts on the genetics of the microbe, and he recently was part of a team that sequenced the first mycorrhizal fungi genome.


Despite his drive, Sanders comes across as light-hearted as he teases and jokes with fellow researchers. But he loses his affable smile as he fires off facts about the upcoming food shortage: The world’s population is expected to increase to between 9 billion and 16 billion people. Five million people per year die of direct causes of malnutrition. Three and a half million of those are children under five. Today, we have the means to grow enough food to feed all those people, but we will most certainly need to produce more in the very near future.

 

Sanders may have come up with a way to do just that. He has successfully bred custom varieties of microbes that can help plants produce more food. It’s one of the ultimate goals of farming research—more food with, he hopes, little or no environmental downside.



Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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How To Design & Fund International Development Aid Projects

How To Design & Fund International Development Aid Projects | my universe | Scoop.it
Learn to develop real sustainable projects use community defined need best practice solutions/project management tools
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Food Security
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10 things you need to know about the global food system

10 things you need to know about the global food system | my universe | Scoop.it
There is enough food for everyone on the planet to lead a healthy and nutritious life, but the global food supply is deeply inequitable

Via CGIAR Climate, CIMMYT, Int.
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CGIAR Climate's curator insight, May 28, 10:02 PM

Guardian article references CCAFS Big Fact: Ariculture is responsible for 75% of deforestation worldwide, and is the largest contributor of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.


http://ccafs.cgiar.org/bigfacts2014/#theme=food-emissions

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Sir Conway's guide to feeding the world

Sir Conway's guide to feeding the world | my universe | Scoop.it
Sir Gordon Conway says we need to increase food production by more than 70 per cent by 2050.

Via CIMMYT, Int.
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Globale Temperatur 2013

Globale Temperatur 2013 | my universe | Scoop.it
Die globalen Temperaturdaten für 2013 sind jetzt veröffentlicht. 2010 und 2005 bleiben die bislang wärmsten Jahre seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen im 19. Jahrhundert. Im neuen Datensatz von Cowtan & Way, der die datenarme Region in der Arktis mit einer besseren Methodik interpoliert, ist 2013 sogar ohne El Niño wärmer als das Rekord-El-Niño-Jahr 1998.Ende Januar, wenn die Temperaturmessu ...
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Obama did it!

Obama did it! | my universe | Scoop.it
And it will impact America for generations to come.
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NASA Beams "Hello, World!" Video from Space via Laser

NASA Beams "Hello, World!" Video from Space via Laser | my universe | Scoop.it
NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.
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Best of Both Worlds? Northeast Cut Emissions and Enjoyed Growth

Best of Both Worlds? Northeast Cut Emissions and Enjoyed Growth | my universe | Scoop.it
Economic growth and carbon emissions were once closely linked. The results in nine states show they no longer necessarily are.
Norman Warthmann's insight:

Cutting carbon emissions does everything else but NOT decrease economic growth!

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Climate science denier group must pay damages for frivolous lawsuit against UVA, scientist

Climate science denier group must pay damages for frivolous lawsuit against UVA, scientist | my universe | Scoop.it
The Virginia Supreme Court has ordered the American Tradition Institute to pay $250 to the University of Virginia and former professor Michael Mann for filing a lawsuit that sought his emails and othe
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Activation of the Arabidopsis thaliana Immune System by Combinations of Common ACD6 Alleles

Activation of the Arabidopsis thaliana Immune System by Combinations of Common ACD6 Alleles | my universe | Scoop.it
Author Summary Plants and their pathogens are engaged in an endless evolutionary battle. The invention of new strategies by pathogens pushes plants to continuously update their defenses. This in turn leads the pathogens to circumvent these new defenses, and so on. Given the abundance of potential enemies, it is therefore not surprising that genes involved in defense against pathogens are among the most variable in plants. A drawback of this extreme variation in pathogen-recognition mechanisms is that at times the plant mistakes itself for an enemy, leading to autonomous activation of defense responses in the absence of pathogens. Conventional models for this phenomenon, called hybrid necrosis, require the interaction between two different genes. Here we show instead that hybrid necrosis can be triggered by interactions between variants of a single gene, ACD6 (ACCELERATED CELL DEATH 6). Several of these variants are common in natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations and can interact to give different levels of activation of the immune system. Our results provide important information into the evolution and operation of the plant defense system. Moreover, the abundant presence of ACD6 functional variation suggests a major role for this gene in modulating plant defenses in nature.
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Parasitic wasp turns roaches into zombie slaves using neurotoxic cocktail | IFLScience

Parasitic wasp turns roaches into zombie slaves using neurotoxic cocktail | IFLScience | my universe | Scoop.it
For decades, scientists have tried to understand the complex and gruesome relationship between the parasitic emerald wasp Ampulex compressa and its much larger victim, the common household cockroach Periplaneta americana.
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Natural and human-mediated selection in a landrace of Thai rice (Oryza sativa) - Pusadee - 2014

Natural and human-mediated selection in a landrace of Thai rice (Oryza sativa) - Pusadee - 2014 | my universe | Scoop.it
Abstract

Landrace rice in Thailand consists of managed populations grown under traditional and long-standing agricultural practices. These populations evolve both in response to environmental conditions within the local agro-ecosystem and in response to human activities. Single landraces are grown across varying environments and recently have experienced temporal changes in local environments due to climate change. Here we assess the interplay between natural selection in a changing climate and human-mediated selection on the population genetic structure of Muey Nawng, a local landrace of Thai rice. Genetic diversity and population structure of landrace rice were assessed by a STRUCTURE analysis of 20 microsatellite loci. The first exon–intron junction of the waxy gene was sequenced to determine genotypes for glutinous or non-glutinous grain starch. Muey Nawng rice is genetically variable and is structured based on starch grain types and the level of resistance to gall midge pest. A strong positive correlation was found between genetic diversity and the percentage of gall midge infestation. Variation in the waxy locus is correlated with starch quality; selection for non-glutinous rice appears to involve additional genes. The dynamics of genetic diversity within Muey Nawng rice depends on three factors: (a) a genetic bottleneck caused by strong selection associated with gall midge infestation, (b) selection by local farmers for starch quality and (c) variation introduced by farmer practices for cultivation and seed exchange. These results, when taken in total, document the ability of landrace rice to quickly evolve in response to both natural and human-mediated selection.

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Our alarming food future, explained in 7 charts

Our alarming food future, explained in 7 charts | my universe | Scoop.it
The takeaway from a blockbuster climate report: As the temperature goes up, crop yields will go down.
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Plants and Microbes
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Plant J: Suppression among alleles encoding NB-LRR resistance proteins interferes with resistance in F1 hybrid and allele-pyramided wheat plants (2014)

Plant J: Suppression among alleles encoding NB-LRR resistance proteins interferes with resistance in F1 hybrid and allele-pyramided wheat plants (2014) | my universe | Scoop.it

Developing high yielding varieties with broad-spectrum and durable disease resistance is the ultimate goal of crop breeding. In plants, immune receptors of the NB-LRR class mediate race-specific resistance against pathogen attack. This type of resistance is often rapidly overcome by newly adapted pathogen races when employed in agriculture. The stacking of different resistance genes or alleles in F1 hybrids or in pyramided lines is a promising strategy to achieve more durable resistance. Here, we identify a molecular mechanism which can negatively interfere with the allele-pyramiding approach. We show that pairwise combinations of different alleles of the powdery-mildew-resistance gene Pm3 in F1 hybrids and stacked transgenic wheat lines can result in suppression of Pm3-based resistance. This effect is independent of the genetic background and solely dependent on the Pm3 alleles. Suppression occurs at the post-translational level as neither RNA nor protein levels of the suppressed alleles are affected. Using a transient-expression system in Nicotiana benthamiana, the LRR domain was identified as the suppression-conferring domain. The results of this study suggest that the expression of closely related NB-LRR resistance genes or alleles in the same genotype can lead to dominant-negative interactions. These findings provide a molecular explanation for the frequently observed ineffectiveness of resistance genes introduced from the secondary gene pool into polyploid crop species and mark an important step to overcome this limitation.

 
Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Project overview: ENSA - Engineering Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa

Project overview: ENSA - Engineering Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa | my universe | Scoop.it

Really enjoyed today's talk by Giles Oldroyd on the molecular basis of root nodule symbiosis establishment, which has the goal of (ultimately) introducing this capacity to grains- see the proejct overview at ENSA https://www.ensa.ac.uk/

A few links to the biology:
Synthetic biology approaches to engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24687978

A GRAS-Type Transcription Factor with a Specific Function in Mycorrhizal Signaling http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2812%2901146-3

Nuclear calcium signaling in plants http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/163/2/496.full

Activation of Calcium/Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase http://www.plantcell.org/content/25/12/5053.long


Via Mary Williams
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Food Security
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Reorganization of crop production and trade could save China's water supply

Reorganization of crop production and trade could save China's water supply | my universe | Scoop.it
PRINCETON, N.J.—China's rapid socioeconomic growth continues to tax national water resources – especially in the agricultural sector – due to increasing demands for food. And, because of the country's climate and geography, irrigation is now

Via CIMMYT, Int.
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BioTechniques - The Basis of Blond Hair

BioTechniques - The Basis of Blond Hair | my universe | Scoop.it
Although hair color is a complex trait arising from interactions in a complicated genetic network, researchers have found that the tiniest change in a DNA sequence can lead to a noticeable difference. Read more...
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Jeffrey Sachs - Strategies for deep decarbonisation of the global energy system - YouTube

Energy lies at the heart of the world's sustainability challenge. On the one hand, abundant, accessible, low-cost energy is vital for economic prosperity. On...
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Lyme Disease’s Possible Bacterial Predecessor Found in Ancient Tick

Lyme Disease’s Possible Bacterial Predecessor Found in Ancient Tick | my universe | Scoop.it
A juvenile tick trapped in a 15-million- to 20-million-year-old piece of amber contains a bacterium that could be the oldest documented ancestor of the microbe that causes Lyme disease
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Nutrition Today
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Are 'superfoods' a super hoax? - Yakima Herald-Republic

Are 'superfoods' a super hoax? - Yakima Herald-Republic | my universe | Scoop.it
Are 'superfoods' a super hoax?
Yakima Herald-Republic
Worse, it reinforces an understanding of nutrition that borders on belief in magic, while simultaneously undermining the institutions whose task it is to educate us properly.

Via Demarcio Washington
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