Expert Analysis:
Agriculture & Environment

April 5, 2016

Transplanted pig heart kept beating in a baboon for over two years

Transplanted pig hearts have been kept alive in baboons for longer than ever before, according to research in Nature Communications, with one heart lasting 945 days. Continue reading

March 24, 2016

Venter Institute researchers reduce the genome of a synthetic cell down to genes essential for life

Craig Venter and colleagues have created a synthetic bacterial cell containing only the genes necessary for life, according to a paper in Science. The researchers say their method can be used to study the core functions of life and construct cells with desired properties. Continue reading

March 16, 2016

Senate vote on bill for labeling genetically engineered food

The U.S. Senate vote today on a bill that would set a national standard for voluntary labeling of genetically engineered foods. The bill would block states from passing labeling laws unless they comply with the voluntary standard. Continue reading

March 11, 2016

FDA gives preliminary go-ahead for Florida release of genetically engineered mosquitoes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a notice that a field trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in the Florida Keys would not harm humans or the environment. Continue reading

March 8, 2016

Not a one-way street: Antibiotic resistance genes found on cattle farms suggest spread from humans to livestock

The first study to track antibiotic resistance all the way through the intensive beef production process found genes conferring resistance to ‘last resort’ antibiotics which are not used in the livestock industry. Continue reading

February 19, 2016

UPDATE: USDA decides first CRISPR-edited crop is not regulated

USDA has decided that it will not regulate a mushroom which has been gene-edited to prevent browning. The mushroom, developed by Yinong Yang at Penn State, is the first crop modified using CRISPR-Cas9 that USDA has said is not subject to regulation. Continue reading

February 4, 2016

Combating Zika with genetically engineered mosquitoes: Hope or hype?

As the Zika outbreak continues in the Americas, methods of controlling the mosquitoes that spread the virus by using genetic engineering have gained attention. But how realistic is it for these new technologies to be deployed on a large scale? Continue reading

January 27, 2016

Nature Genetics editorial: gene-edited crops ‘should not be subject to government oversight’

An editorial in Nature Genetics has called for gene-edited crops to be subject to no more regulation than crops developed through conventional breeding. The Obama administration has launched a review of regulation for biotech crops, and the editorial calls for regulation to be based on the product, not the technology used to make it. Continue reading

January 25, 2016

Genetically modified monkeys created for study of autism spectrum disorders

Researchers have genetically engineered monkeys to show autism-like behaviors, in order to further understand autism spectrum disorders and work towards treatments. Continue reading

January 19, 2016

400,000 birds euthanized in Indiana: What we know about the new avian flu virus

Last week USDA confirmed discovery of a highly pathogenic H7N8 avian flu virus in a turkey flock in Indiana. While the virus genome is being analyzed, 400,000 infected birds, both turkeys and chickens, are being euthanized in efforts to stamp out the outbreak. Continue reading

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