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Farmer’s use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case - Washington Post (2013)

Farmer’s use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case - Washington Post (2013) | my universe | Scoop.it

Bowman’s unorthodox soybean farming techniques have landed him at the center of a national battle over genetically modified crops. His legal battle, now at the Supreme Court, raises questions about whether the right to patent living things extends to their progeny, and how companies that engage in cutting-edge research can recoup their investments.

 

What Bowman did was to take commodity grain from the local elevator, which is usually used for feed, and plant it. But that grain was mostly progeny of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready beans because that’s what most Indiana soybean farmers grow. Those soybeans are genetically modified to survive the weedkiller Roundup, and Monsanto claims that Bowman’s planting violated the company’s restrictions.

 

Those supporting Bowman hope the court uses the case, which is scheduled for oral arguments later this month, to hit the reset button on corporate domination of agribusiness and what they call Monsanto’s “legal assault” on farmers who don’t toe the line. Monsanto’s supporters say advances in health and environmental research are endangered.

 

And the case raises questions about the traditional role of farmers. For instance: When a farmer grows Monsanto’s genetically modified soybean seeds, has he simply “used” the seed to create a crop to sell, or has he “made” untold replicas of Monsanto’s invention that remain subject to the company’s restrictions? ...

 

Farmers who buy seeds with the Roundup Ready trait sign an agreement that says they may be used for one planting only. Even though the gene exists in the new beans they grow, farmers cannot save them for a second planting, nor sell them to others for that purpose. But they are allowed to sell the beans to giant grain elevators, like those that are the most prominent feature on the flat landscape in Bowman’s corner of southern Indiana. 

 

From 1999 to 2007, Bowman purchased Roundup Ready seeds for his first planting of soybeans and abided by Monsanto’s restrictions. But like some farmers, he also plants a second crop later in the growing season; such crops are highly dependent on the weather, which makes them more hit-or-miss.

It is too risky to pay the high price of Monsanto’s Roundup-resistant seeds for the second crop of the season, Bowman said, so instead he purchased cheaper commodity grain from the local elevator, which is usually used for feed. He planted it, and when he sprayed the crop with the herbicide, almost all survived. That wasn’t surprising, because 94 percent of Indiana soybean farmers grow Roundup Ready beans. 

 

Bowman told Monsanto exactly what he was doing, and Monsanto told him to stop. The farmer was in effect “soybean laundering,” according to some of the companies supporting Monsanto at the Supreme Court — selling Roundup Ready progeny beans to the grain elevator and hoping other farmers were too, then buying them back and planting them...


Via Alexander J. Stein
Norman Warthmann's insight:

this will be an interesting lawsuit to follow :)

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Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development

"The metabolic costs of brain development are thought to explain the evolution of humans’ exceptionally slow and protracted childhood growth; however, the costs of the human brain during development are unknown....."

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Don't overlook what’s underfoot – save the bugs and germs

Don't overlook what’s underfoot – save the bugs and germs | my universe | Scoop.it
One of the biggest problems for conservation today is that it ignores 95% of all known species on Earth. Could a company ignore that proportion of its clients or a government so many of its voters? So…
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Western drought causes Earth's surface to rise as water levels drop

Western drought causes Earth's surface to rise as water levels drop | my universe | Scoop.it
A year and a half of drought has depleted 63 trillion gallons of water across the Western United States, according to a new study that documents how the parched conditions are altering the landscape.
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Diet Similarity (National Geographic Magazine)

Diet Similarity (National Geographic Magazine) | my universe | Scoop.it
Diets around the world are becoming more and more similar.
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FarmBot: An Open Source 3D Farming Printer That Aims to Create Food For Everyone

FarmBot: An Open Source 3D Farming Printer That Aims to Create Food For Everyone | my universe | Scoop.it

"...Instead of printing ...., this machine has the ability to do most of the typical farm jobs that would normally require hard labor and/or individual machines. It can be equipped with different tools, in a similar way as a CNC machine is. Some of those tools include seed injectors, plows, burners, robotic arms (for harvesting), cutters, shredders, tillers, discers, watering nozzles, sensors and more. The hardware used is completely open source and totally scalable for use on any sized farm/garden plots...."

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Are We on the Path to Peak Water?

Are We on the Path to Peak Water? | my universe | Scoop.it
Many scientists and experts fear that humanity is reaching the point of peak water — the point at which freshwater is being consumed faster than it is…
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from The Great Transition
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Understand faulty thinking to tackle climate change

Understand faulty thinking to tackle climate change | my universe | Scoop.it
The amorphous nature of climate change creates the ideal conditions for human denial and cognitive bias to come to the fore, says George Marshall

Via Willy De Backer
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Willy De Backer's curator insight, August 17, 5:13 PM

This excellent piece in New Scientist explains why our brains are 'wired to ignore climate change'. Is it Nature's fail-safe against our human idiocy?

Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture

Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture | my universe | Scoop.it

"A balanced assessment of ecosystem services provided by agriculture requires a systems-level socioecological understanding of related management practices at local to landscape scales. The results from 25 years of observation and experimentation at the Kellogg Biological Station long-term ecological research site reveal services that could be provided by intensive row-crop ecosystems. In addition to high yields, farms could be readily managed to contribute clean water, biocontrol and other biodiversity benefits, climate stabilization, and long-term soil fertility, thereby helping meet society's need for agriculture that is economically and environmentally sustainable. "


Via Mary Williams
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Mary Williams's curator insight, August 12, 4:41 AM

Good resource for students interested in the environmental footprint of various agricultural strategies

Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Food issues
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Health hot topic: Is coconut water actually good for you?

Health hot topic: Is coconut water actually good for you? | my universe | Scoop.it

Loved by sports nuts and superstars, coconut water is the hot new health drink. But is it all it's cracked up to be? Christina Larmer investigates.


Via Cathryn Wellner
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Seamless gene correction of β-thalassemia mutations in patient-specific iPSCs using CRISPR/Cas9 and piggyBac

An international, peer-reviewed genome sciences journal featuring outstanding original research that offers novel insights into the biology of all organisms
Norman Warthmann's insight:

the future is now!

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Ecologists underestimating impacts of old-growth logging

Ecologists underestimating impacts of old-growth logging | my universe | Scoop.it
Ecologists may be underestimating the impact of logging in old-growth tropical forests by failing to account for subtleties in how different animal groups respond to the intensity of timber extraction, argues a paper published today in the journal Current Biology. The study, led by Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich, is based on a meta-analysis of 48 studies that evaluated the impact of selective logging on mammals, birds, amphibians, and invertebrates in tropical forests.
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Three Questions for J. Craig Venter | MIT Technology Review

Three Questions for J. Craig Venter | MIT Technology Review | my universe | Scoop.it
Gene research and Silicon Valley-style computing are starting to merge.
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23andMe Awarded $1.4M NIH Grant to Build out Database, Research Engine

23andMe Awarded $1.4M NIH Grant to Build out Database, Research Engine | my universe | Scoop.it
Norman Warthmann's insight:

Why would "23andMe" a private company and affiliated with the richest people on earth, the google founders, need public money?

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A gut microbe that stops food allergies

A gut microbe that stops food allergies | my universe | Scoop.it
Giving mice common intestinal bacteria eliminated peanut allergies
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The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart

The Learning Myth: Why I'll Never Tell My Son He's Smart | my universe | Scoop.it
He then said, "Dad, aren't you glad how I struggled with that word? I think I could feel my brain growing." I smiled: my son was now verbalizing the tell­-tale signs of a 'growth­ mindset.'...
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Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys - Slashdot

Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys - Slashdot | my universe | Scoop.it
MojoKid writes: The Entertainment Software Association has just released its 2014 report on the state of the video game industry (PDF), and as the title of this post suggests, there have been some significant shifts since the last report. Let's tackle the most interesting one first: Females have bec...
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BrightSource solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead

BrightSource solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead | my universe | Scoop.it
Birds flying over a California solar plant are being set on fire by the mirrors that concentrate the sun's rays to generate electricity.
Norman Warthmann's insight:

I hope there will be a good assessment of comparing the impact on wildlife with other methods. I am sure that mining and burning coal kills more birds.

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Scientists find traces of sea plankton on ISS surface

Scientists find traces of sea plankton on ISS surface | my universe | Scoop.it

....taking samples from illuminators and the ISS surface has brought unique results, as scientists had found traces of sea plankton there...

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Google Maps' Former Lead Data Scientist Is Now Building The World's Largest Plant Library

Google Maps' Former Lead Data Scientist Is Now Building The World's Largest Plant Library | my universe | Scoop.it
A San Francisco startup that makes eggless egg products is now on a mission to catalog the world's plants in an effort to create better animal-less...
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Science Plants have unexpected response to climate change

Science Plants have unexpected response to climate change | my universe | Scoop.it

A summary of an article in Global Change Biology that shows temperature is not the only factor that affects species distributions...

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12697/abstract

 


Via Mary Williams
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Eric Chan Wei Chiang's curator insight, August 12, 3:04 AM

High altitude plants are adapted to growing at lower temperatures. Therefore, conventional wisdom would predict that global warming would cause species from higher elevations to die off and be replaced by low altitude plants better adapted to warmer temperatures. 

 

This North American study is very interesting because it shows plants from higher altitudes colonizing lower altitudes which are warm and becoming warmer due to climate change.

 

Care must be taken however, not to over generalize finding as climate change is resulting in lower crop yields, and affecting food security.

http://www.scoop.it/t/aquascaping-and-nature/?tag=Food+Security

 

A report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, urges the Obama Administration to step up research funding – especially in developing countries – to help make up a projected gap in future food supply. http://sco.lt/5CifIH

Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Plants and Microbes
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1000 Fungal Genome (1KFG) project: Graduate Student-Postdoc Challenge (2014)

1000 Fungal Genome (1KFG) project: Graduate Student-Postdoc Challenge (2014) | my universe | Scoop.it

The 1000 Fungal Genome (1KFG) project is a large-scale community sequencing project supported by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI).  The goal of 1KFG is to facilitate the sequencing of fungal genomes across the Kingdom Fungi with the objective to significantly advance genome-enabled mycology.  The sampling guideline is to sequence two species of fungi for every family-level clade of Fungi so that genomic data is representative of phylogenetic diversity of Fungi. In support of this endeavor, 1KFG is pleased to announce the Graduate Student/Postdoc Challenge.  From July 2014-June 30 2015 we will accept nominations to sequence up to 100 species of fungi in support of graduate student and postdoctoral research projects.  Students and postdocs are encouraged to nominate species and submit DNA and RNA samples for genomic sequencing.

 

Follow the link to find out how to nominate species.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Climatologist Says Arctic Carbon Release Could Mean “We're Fucked” | IFLScience

Climatologist Says Arctic Carbon Release Could Mean “We're Fucked” | IFLScience | my universe | Scoop.it
Climatologists have spent decades politely warning that we are cooking our planet, but now one has decided to stop sugar coating it. Professor Jason Box of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland tweeted “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we're fucked.”
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How small birds evolved from giant meat eating dinosaurs

How small birds evolved from giant meat eating dinosaurs | my universe | Scoop.it
Spectacular transitional fossils, many from northern China, provide overwhelming evidence that dinosaurs evolved into birds and thus didn’t all perish when the deadly meteorite struck at the end of the…
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Google Baseline Study Not a Real Moon Shot | MIT Technology Review

Google Baseline Study Not a Real Moon Shot | MIT Technology Review | my universe | Scoop.it
Google X’s project to study human health is no Apollo 11.
Norman Warthmann's insight:

underwhelming. they could do sooo much better! In fact, they are the only ones capable of doing what needs to be done. I wish I could talk to them only for a few minutes

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The bakery in the middle of a desert

The bakery in the middle of a desert | my universe | Scoop.it
Norman Warthmann's insight:

What Luigi Guarino on the "Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog" wrote about it:

From Spain, there’s news of how an old variety — and much effort from a local family — brought back the particular taste of Los Monegros’ bread. Should anyone else be interested, the variety in question, Aragon 03, seems to be available in various genebanks.

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