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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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Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? (National Geographic)

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? (National Geographic) | my universe | Scoop.it
We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge--from climate change to vaccinations--faces furious opposition. Some even have doubts about the moon landing.
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Plants and Microbes
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Current Opinion in Insect Science: Disruption of insect transmission of plant viruses (2015)

Current Opinion in Insect Science: Disruption of insect transmission of plant viruses (2015) | my universe | Scoop.it

Plant-infecting viruses are transmitted by a diverse array of organisms including insects, mites, nematodes, fungi, and plasmodiophorids. Virus interactions with these vectors are diverse, but there are some commonalities. Generally the infection cycle begins with the vector encountering the virus in the plant and the virus is acquired by the vector. The virus must then persist in or on the vector long enough for the virus to be transported to a new host and delivered into the plant cell. Plant viruses rely on their vectors for breaching the plant cell wall to be delivered directly into the cytosol. In most cases, viral capsid or membrane glycoproteins are the specific viral proteins that are required for transmission and determinants of vector specificity. Specific molecules in vectors also interact with the virus and while there are few-identified to no-identified receptors, candidate recognition molecules are being further explored in these systems. Due to the specificity of virus transmission by vectors, there are defined steps that represent good targets for interdiction strategies to disrupt the disease cycle. This review focuses on new technologies that aim to disrupt the virus–vector interaction and focuses on a few of the well-characterized virus–vector interactions in the field. In closing, we discuss the importance of integration of these technologies with current methods for plant virus disease control.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Steve Marek's curator insight, February 26, 9:27 AM

Not fungal, but still an excellent review with great insights on important plant pathosystems.

Bharat Employment's curator insight, February 27, 4:46 AM

http://www.bharatemployment.com/

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Dietary guidelines panel suggests tax on sugary foods

Dietary guidelines panel suggests tax on sugary foods | my universe | Scoop.it
A tax on sugary drinks and snacks is one way a government panel of nutrition experts thinks Americans can be coaxed into eating better.

Via Cathryn Wellner
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Renata Hill's comment, February 24, 8:05 PM
Agree. Plus, I bet the sugar lobby is much bigger than I (we?) realize.
Cathryn Wellner's comment, February 24, 8:09 PM
Have you read the new U.S. dietary guidelines? I've only read about them, but it's encouraging to see the environment factored in.
Renata Hill's comment, February 24, 8:28 PM
I have not, but yes, it is.
Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Agricultural Biodiversity
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Climate change threatens staple potato crop in high Andes - RTCC

RTCC Climate change threatens staple potato crop in high Andes RTCC The creation of the Potato Park dates back from 1997 when an NGO called Andes Association promoted the conservation of the indigenous heritage regarding local rights, livelihoods...

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New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers | WIRED

New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers | WIRED | my universe | Scoop.it
I squatted down in the dirt and took stock of my inadequate tools. Over my left shoulder a massive John Deere tractor loomed. I came here to fix that tractor. So far, things weren’t going as planned. I’m a computer programmer by training, and a repairman by trade. Ten years ago, I started iFixit, an…
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Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor - Telegraph

Young people are 'lost generation' who can no longer fix gadgets, warns professor   - Telegraph | my universe | Scoop.it

Danielle George, Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, at the University of Manchester, is giving this year's Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.....

".....I want young people to realise that that they have the power to change the world right from their bedroom, kitchen table or garden shed.......Today’s generation of young people are in a truly unique position. The technology we use and depend on every day is expanding and developing at a phenomenal rate and so our society has never been more equipped to be creative and innovative ...... If we all take control of the technology and systems around us, and think creatively, then solving some of the world’s greatest challenges is only a small step away....."

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Gates Foundation is too big to ignore the politics of poverty

Gates Foundation is too big to ignore the politics of poverty | my universe | Scoop.it
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2015 annual letter outlines their vision for global development and poverty reduction. The letter outlines four areas where they expect breakthroughs over the next…
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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Resources for academic writing and publishing

 

I led a workshop on academic writing and publishing last week, and this is a list of resources I gave to the participants. It's not an exhaustive list, so if you have any favorites let me know and I'll add them!


Links and resources

 

General writing resources

 

Strunk, W. Jr. (1999).The Elements of Style. http://www.bartleby.com/141/

 

 

 

Guidelines and lessons for good scientific writing

 

Cargill, M., and O’Connor, P. (2011). Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps. Wiley. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1444356216.html

 

Doumont, J., ed. (2010). English Communication for Scientists. Cambridge, MA: NPG Education. http://www.nature.com/wls/ebooks/english-communication-for-scientists-14053993/contents (Free ebook - very useful)

 

Duke University Graduate School. Scientific Writing Resource.  https://cgi.duke.edu/web/sciwriting/index.php Short, online course for graduate students with examples and worksheets

 

Editorial (2010). Scientific writing 101. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 17: 139-139. http://www.nature.com/nsmb/journal/v17/n2/full/nsmb0210-139.html

 

European Association of Science Editors. EASE Toolkit for Authors. http://www.ease.org.uk/publications/ease-toolkit-authors

 

Nature Scitable Effective Writing. http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/effective-writing-13815989

 

Nature Scitable Scientific Papers. http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/scientific-papers-13815490

 

Lichtfouse, E. (2013). Scientific Writing for Impact Factor Journals. Nova Scientific Publishers, Inc. (New York).

 

Moreira, A., and Haahtela, T. (2011). How to write a scientific paper--and win the game scientists play! Rev. Port. Pneumol. 17:146-149. doi: 10.1016/j.rppneu.2011.03.007. http://www.elsevier.pt/en/linkresolver/320/how-to-write-scientific-paper-and-win/90020266

 

Plaxco, K.W. (2010). The art of writing science. Protein Science 19: 2261 – 2266. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3009394/pdf/pro0019-2261.pdf

 

Rogers, Silvia M. (2014). Mastering Scientific and Medical Writing: A Self-Help Guide. Springer. http://www.springer.com/medicine/book/978-3-642-39445-4https://moodle.swarthmore.edu/pluginfile.php/179173/mod_resource/content/1/Good%20versus%20poor%20scientific%20writing%20from%20Silvia%20Rogers.pdf

 

Writing Center University of Wisconsin. (2014) The Writers Handbook: Reverse Outlines. http://writing.wisc.edu/Handbook/ReverseOutlines.html

 

 

 

Guidance from journals

 

J Exp Bot: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/exbotj/for_authors/

 

Nature: http://www.nature.com/authors/author_resources/how_write.html

 

Plant Cell: http://www.plantcell.org/site/misc/ifora.xhtml

 

 

 

Figures preparation and ethical issues

 

Blatt, M. and Martin, C. (2013). Manipulation and Misconduct in the Handling of Image Data. Plant Physiology. 163: 3-4. http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/163/1/3.short

 

Cromey, D.W. (2010). Avoiding twisted pixels: ethical guidelines for the appropriate use and manipulation of scientific digital images. Sci. Eng. Ethics 16: 639–667

 

Rossner, M., and Yamada, K.M. (2004). What’s in a picture? The temptation of image manipulation. J. Cell Biol 166: 11–15. http://jcb.rupress.org/content/166/1/11.short

 

 

 

Peer Review Guidelines and Policies, Post-publication peer review

 

Bastian, H. (2014) A Stronger Post-Publication Culture Is Needed for Better Science. PLoS Med 11(12): e1001772. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001772

 

F1000Research: http://blog.f1000research.com/2014/07/08/what-is-post-publication-peer-review/

 

F1000: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fncom.2012.00063/full

 

Mole. (2007). Rebuffs and rebuttals I: how rejected is rejected? J Cell Sci. 120: 1143-1144. http://hwmaint.jcs.biologists.org/cgi/reprint/120/7/1143

 

Nature: http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/peer_review.html

 

Office of Research Integrity. (US Dept of Health and Human Services) The Lab. http://ori.hhs.gov/THELAB

 

Office of Research Integrity. Research Clinic Case Book. http://ori.hhs.gov/rcr-casebook-stories-about-researchers-worth-discussing

 

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/site/feature/contribinfo/review.xhtml

 

PLOS ONE:www.plosone.org/static/reviewerGuidelines

 

Provenzale, J.M. and Stanley, R.J. (2006). A Systematic Guide to Reviewing a Manuscript. J. Nuclear Med.Techn.. 34: 92-99. http://tech.snmjournals.org/content/34/2/92.full.pdf+html

 

Times Higher Education: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/can-post-publication-peer-review-endure/2016895.article

 

 

 

Readability

 

RavenBlog (2010). Ultimate list of online content readability tests. http://blog.raventools.com/ultimate-list-of-online-content-readability-tests/

 

 

 

Communicating more broadly

 

Kuehne, L.M., et al. (2014). Practical science communication strategies for graduate students. Conservation Biology. 28: 1225–1235. .DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12305

 

Osterrieder, A. (2013). The value and use of social media as communication tool in the plant sciences. Plant Methods. 9: 26. http://www.plantmethods.com/content/9/1/26

 

 



Via Mary Williams
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AckerbauHalle's curator insight, February 3, 10:49 AM

Großartige Literatursammlung für wissenschaftliches Schreiben. 

Bibhya Sharma's curator insight, February 3, 8:58 PM

Very helpful for teachers and researchers. 

Andres Zurita's curator insight, February 4, 12:53 PM
Outstanding source of fine material! Thanks Mary!
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New Report Urges Western Governments to Reconsider Reliance on Biofuels

New Report Urges Western Governments to Reconsider Reliance on Biofuels | my universe | Scoop.it
An environmental think tank says turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that the approach is unlikely ever to supply a substantial fraction of global energy demand.
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The App Economy Is Now 'Bigger Than Hollywood'

The App Economy Is Now 'Bigger Than Hollywood' | my universe | Scoop.it
The web might be the most important medium in American culture.
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CrackerBio

Norman Warthmann's insight:

CrackerBio is an optical-electronic engineering company, based in Taiwan, aiming to develop advanced nucleic acid testing platform and instrumentation.

The s-TOP Chip-Based Single Molecule Sequencer Technology, developed by our team and Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan, has been transferred to Personal Genomics, Inc (PGI). A prototype of ultra-sensitive, large pixel area semiconductor optical sensor, specially designed for single-molecule DNA sequencing measurements, has been built by PGI and is being tested for its optical performance.  PGI is also developing a new single-molecule sequencing chemistry that improves upon the raw reading accuracy while retaining the long read-lengths of current single-molecule sequencing technology. The DNA sequencing system is projected to be ready by 2015.

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More Differences Than Similarities Are Found in Autistic Siblings

More Differences Than Similarities Are Found in Autistic Siblings | my universe | Scoop.it
Most siblings with a diagnosis do not share the same genetic risk factors for the disorder and are as distinct in their behaviors as any brothers and sisters, scientists reported.
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Astroquizzical: What happens when Betelgeuse explodes?

Astroquizzical: What happens when Betelgeuse explodes? - Starts With A Bang! - Medium
It’s one of the nearest red supergiants to us, and a supernova is only a matter of time. What are we in for when it happens?
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Avianbase: a community resource for bird genomics (Genome Biology)

Giving access to sequence and annotation data for genome assemblies is important because, while facilitating research, it places both assembly and annotation quality under scrutiny, resulting in improvements to both. Therefore we announce Avianbase, a resource for bird genomics, which provides access to data released by the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium.
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Quantitative evolutionary dynamics using high-resolution lineage tracking : Nature

Quantitative evolutionary dynamics using high-resolution lineage tracking : Nature | my universe | Scoop.it
Norman Warthmann's insight:

wow!

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Rescooped by Norman Warthmann from Publications from The Sainsbury Laboratory
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Frontiers in Plant Sci: Strategies for transferring resistance into wheat: from wide crosses to GM cassettes (2014)

Frontiers in Plant Sci: Strategies for transferring resistance into wheat: from wide crosses to GM cassettes (2014) | my universe | Scoop.it
The domestication of wheat in the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago led to a genetic bottleneck. Modern agriculture has further narrowed the genetic base by introducing extreme levels of uniformity...

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The Sainsbury Lab's curator insight, December 8, 2014 5:30 AM

The domestication of wheat in the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago led to a genetic bottleneck. Modern agriculture has further narrowed the genetic base by introducing extreme levels of uniformity on a vast spatial and temporal scale. This reduction in genetic complexity renders the crop vulnerable to new and emerging pests and pathogens. The wild relatives of wheat represent an important source of genetic variation for disease resistance. For nearly a century farmers, breeders, and cytogeneticists have sought to access this variation for crop improvement. Several barriers restricting interspecies hybridization and introgression have been overcome, providing the opportunity to tap an extensive reservoir of genetic diversity. Resistance has been introgressed into wheat from at least 52 species from 13 genera, demonstrating the remarkable plasticity of the wheat genome and the importance of such natural variation in wheat breeding. Two main problems hinder the effective deployment of introgressed resistance genes for crop improvement: (1) the simultaneous introduction of genetically linked deleterious traits and (2) the rapid breakdown of resistance when deployed individually. In this review, we discuss how recent advances in molecular genomics are providing new opportunities to overcome these problems.

Bharat Employment's curator insight, January 20, 11:42 PM

www.bharatemployment.com

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'Good, bad, and ugly': Anne Glover discusses life as Europe's science adviser - Science (2015)

'Good, bad, and ugly': Anne Glover discusses life as Europe's science adviser - Science (2015) | my universe | Scoop.it

In a sometimes tense briefing, Anne Glover spoke to reporters yesterday about the ups and downs of her tenure as first chief science adviser of the European Commission (EC)... Glover was appointed in 2011... She won plaudits for her energy and enthusiasm, but the structure of the position posed severe constraints. Exactly why the next EC president, Jean-Claude Juncker, eliminated the position this past November remains a mystery... She framed her experiences as “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

The ugly first. Glover talked at length about her frustration with the "lack of honesty" among opponents of GM crops. "It is not reasonable to present one-sided arguments," she said. Nongovernmental organizations called for her position to be abolished last year, accusing her of bias – a charge she rejected. But she said: "I can't invent balance" when it’s inconsistent with the scientific evidence.

Glover expressed concerns about “the polarization of argument” with GM organisms (GMOs) and other controversial topics... Glover has disputed claims that her staunch defense of the safety and utility of GMOs led to the elimination of her position. And at the briefing she said the move was never explained to her. "No reason was given to me... I've had no contact with the new presidency or the new team."

Another clear source of frustration for Glover was an accusation that her office was not transparent. Advice to Barroso was kept confidential at his request, she said. Her staff of six published many documents and responded to freedom of information requests as well as it could. In addition, she declared potential conflicts of interest, even though she was not required to... 

 

An unresolved issue is how science advice should be given to the European Commission. Glover hinted, sharply, that the job description should change... finding a way to provide “a more open and explicit procuring of evidence” to policymakers...

Despite saying she enjoyed the experience overall, Glover repeated a frequent criticism: “I think we need to demand a lot of our politicians and leaders. Sometimes they hide behind evidence or miscall evidence, [saying] that we don't have enough to do something. Climate change, for example: the evidence is compelling, but our response to that needs to be compelling.”

At the same time, Glover declined to comment on how science will fare under Juncker’s presidency, which has proposed to divert €2.7 billion from the European Commission’s main research fund... into an economic stimulus fund... 

 

Glover also highlighted her accomplishments. She said they included: setting up an informal network of European science advisers... creating a Science and Technology Advisory Council... creating networks among science advisers to various E.U. agencies... building bridges with science academies... 

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/europe/2015/02/good-bad-and-ugly-anne-glover-discusses-life-europes-science-adviser

 


Via Alexander J. Stein
Norman Warthmann's insight:

yes, fellow scientist, lets "demand a lot" from our politicians!

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How Sequencing Foods' DNA Could Help Us Prevent Diseases | WIRED

How Sequencing Foods' DNA Could Help Us Prevent Diseases | WIRED | my universe | Scoop.it
Scientists from the IBM Research and Mars Incorporated today announced the Sequencing the Food Supply Chain Consortium, a collaborative food safety platform aiming to leverage advances in genomics and analytics to further our understanding of what makes food safe.
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What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career as a Software Developer

What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career as a Software Developer | my universe | Scoop.it
When you're starting your career in any field, you probably have high hopes but don't really know what to expect. Should you keep your head down and do what you're told or should you aim only for ambitious projects? Here's what I've learned in my experience as a software developer.
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Microcredit does not live up to promise of transforming lives of the poor, six studies show | Innovations for Poverty Action

Microcredit does not live up to promise of transforming lives of the poor, six studies show | Innovations for Poverty Action | my universe | Scoop.it

“.....These loans do help, but the changes are not transformative, certainly not transformative enough to justify charitable donations to the standard microcredit model. We have seen, though, that these are viable profit-making products, and so investors interested in a double-bottom line should take note.” Duflo suggests researchers and non-profits focus their attention on other approaches for financial inclusion for the poor.....


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Can't throw, can't catch: Australian kids are losing that sporting edge

Can't throw, can't catch: Australian kids are losing that sporting edge | my universe | Scoop.it
Australians like to think themselves as sporting and fit – a concept reinforced by the success of the country’s elite athletes. But evidence is emerging that Australian kids are falling behind their international…

 

....By the time they left primary school competency was low, with less than 50% being competent at running, jumping, catch kick and overarm throw. Two thirds of the girls and a quarter of the boys had poor scores in the over-arm throw where less than 32% of boys and 8% of girls showed competence...."

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