Expert Analysis:
Agriculture & Environment

January 19, 2016

Brazilian city expands use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to combat Zika, dengue

A program to release genetically engineered mosquitoes as a way to control mosquito borne diseases has been expanded by the Brazilian city of Piracicaba and the British company Oxitec. The company produces engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which are thought to be the main carrier of the Zika virus which is sweeping through South and Central America. Continue reading

December 18, 2015

Will the spending bill require GE salmon to be labeled?

The government spending bill expected to be passed by Congress on Friday would prohibit any sale of the recently approved genetically engineered salmon until the Food and Drug Administration has finalized its guidelines on labeling. GENeS reached out to biotechnology law experts to find out exactly what the bill would mean for labeling of GE salmon. Continue reading

December 11, 2015

USDA tightens regulations on GE wheat trials

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a tightening of regulations on field trials of genetically engineered wheat. The changes come after unlicensed GE wheat was found growing in fields in Oregon and Montana in 2013 and 2014. Continue reading

November 23, 2015

Gene drive used to create mosquitoes with potential to stop spread of malaria

Researchers have used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to create a ‘gene drive’ system that spread an anti-malarial gene through a population of the Anopheles Stephensi mosquito, a leading malaria vector in Asia, according to a study in PNAS. Continue reading

November 19, 2015

FDA announces approval of fast-growing genetically engineered salmon

The Food and Drug Administration have announced the approval of a genetically engineered salmon produced by AquaBounty Technologies Inc, making it the first time a GE animal has been approved for human consumption worldwide. Continue reading

November 18, 2015

Bumble bees and apple trees: Experiment finds impact of neonicotinoid on pollination

A study in Nature reports the first evidence of a neonicotinoid pesticide directly impacting pollination by bees, according to the authors. Bumble bees exposed to the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam made fewer visits to apple trees and collected less pollen compared to controls. Continue reading

November 10, 2015

CRISPR opens up new method of creating virus resistant plants

Researchers have found a new way to make plants virus-resistant by harnessing the ability of the gene-editing tool CRISPR to chop up invading viral DNA, according to a study in Genome Biology. Continue reading

November 2, 2015

How will the source of the E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle be identified?

An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants in Oregon and Washington state has resulted in at least 22 people falling sick including 8 who have been hospitalized. Health department officials along with the CDC and the FDA are investigating the outbreak, whose source is still unknown. Continue reading

October 20, 2015

Mixing farms, forests and grasslands protects biodiversity from effects of intensive farming

New research suggests impact of intensive farming on biodiversity can be counteracted by having a varied ecosystem at larger, landscape scales, and that maintaining a diverse landscape of farms, forests and grasslands could allow for sustainable intensification of agriculture. Continue reading

September 30, 2015

Gene-edited micropigs to be sold as pets

A research institution in China is going to sell gene-edited micropigs as pets, according to Nature news. The pigs were originally developed as models for human disease. Researchers used TALENs, a gene-editing tool used to make precise changes to DNA, to disable genes responsible for growth so that the pigs only grow to around 33lbs. Continue reading

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