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Largest-ever study reveals environmental impact of genetically modified crops

According to new research from University of Virginia economist Federico Ciliberto, widespread adoption of genetically modified crops has decreased the use of insecticides, but increased the use of weed-killing herbicides as weeds become more resistant. Ciliberto led the largest study of genetically modified crops and pesticide use to date, alongside Edward D. Perry of Kansas State University, David A. Hennessy of Michigan …

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How human activity alters soil microbes around the world

Adding nitrogen and phosphorous to the soil beneath grasslands shifts the natural communities of fungi, bacteria, and microscopic organisms called archaea that live in the soil. Scientists associated with the Nutrient Network, a global grid of scientists who investigate ecological responses in grasslands around the world, reveal that microbial community responses to fertilizer inputs were globally consistent and reflected plant …

Iowa State University goes bananas over GMOs – Tim Schwab

When news circulated that the first people to consume a new GMO banana would be student guinea pigs at Iowa State University, the university community had questions. A recently released, redacted copy of the initial “informed consent document” that ISU lead researcher Wendy White gave to students doesn’t appear to mention that the GMO banana has never been approved as …

nimibian pattern

Mysterious desert fairy circles share pattern with skin cells

“The distribution of fairy circles throughout the desert may look random, but turns out to have a pattern that very closely matches the distribution pattern of skin cells. A pattern spanning such drastically different size scales — microscopic skin cells and the desert landscape — is almost unheard of in nature.” Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University …