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Genetic modification

Analysis and Comment (14)

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha

Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced…
GM canola: in the spotlight again. GM canola: in the spotlight again. AAP

WA’s canola case shows GM crops are still being demonised

Once again, genetically modified crops are in the news for all the wrong reasons. In Western Australia’s Supreme Court, organic farmer Steve Marsh is suing his neighbour and fellow farmer Michael Baxter…
“No” doesn’t really cover the nuances of the GM debate. “No” doesn’t really cover the nuances of the GM debate. Darko Vojinovic/AP

Terminator seeds will not usher in an agricultural judgement day

In the polarised and fractious debate over the use of genetic modification in agriculture, few issues have raised hackles as much as the proposed use of genetic use restriction techniques (GURT), more…
Leading biologists argue the world must embrace GM plants. Leading biologists argue the world must embrace GM plants. Will de Freitas

Hacking plant ‘blood vessels’ could avert food crisis

Today’s wars are not about food, but not too far in the future they could be. The number of people dying of starvation has been falling for decades, but the decline in the numbers of hungry people is slowing…
Science is a battleground with areas that are bitterly contested by special interests that sometime stoop to trickery. Science is a battleground with areas that are bitterly contested by special interests that sometime stoop to trickery. JD Hancock

Modifying the message: how tricks masked home truths about anti-GM science

Well-established science is highly reliable and serves us well. Modern medicine, the airline industry, and the internet all show what science can achieve in terms of healthier, more interesting and wealthier…
The French paper linking GM corn and cancer in rats should have been rejected on a number of grounds. The French paper linking GM corn and cancer in rats should have been rejected on a number of grounds. Vermario

Genetically modified corn and cancer – what does the evidence really say?

French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini caused quite a stir last week when he claimed he’d shown cancer in rats increased when they were fed genetically modified corn and/or water spiked with the herbicide…
Genetic modification for treating illness may be obligatory; the real question is where we draw the line. Genetic modification for treating illness may be obligatory; the real question is where we draw the line. Fufue

Where should we draw the line on ‘designer’ babies?

Leafing through the popular press it’s easy to see that the baby industry is big business: designer labels in size 000; prams that deftly allow running parents to take baby along and pick up a single origin…
Genetically modified crops have allowed pesticide spraying to be reduced by almost half a million kilograms in the last 15 years. Genetically modified crops have allowed pesticide spraying to be reduced by almost half a million kilograms in the last 15 years. Eric Constantineau

Genetically modified crops shrink farming’s pesticide footprint

Recent news reports claim one in ten Australians believe the world will end on December 21, 2012, based largely on internet gossip about the meaning of ancient stone carvings from the Mayans of Central…
Aedes aegypti causes about 100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide every year. Aedes aegypti causes about 100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide every year. Stephen Doggett/Medical Entymology

Time to regulate the release of GM mosquitoes – and here’s how

Mosquito-borne diseases remain one of the greatest global threats to human health. Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes hold great potential to reduce the burden of disease but as research moves from the…
Up to one million Africa children die of malaria every year. Up to one million Africa children die of malaria every year. US Army Africa

Genetically modifying parasites to find the best malaria vaccine

The great burden of death and disease caused by the malaria parasite often goes unnoticed in the developed world. But it’s the leading cause of death in children under five years old in many sub-Sahara…
Feeding the world’s poor may not really be the main concern of companies that take out gene patents on crops. Feeding the world’s poor may not really be the main concern of companies that take out gene patents on crops. AAP

Is patenting crops really about feeding the hungry? A response

Michael Gilbert’s article starts with a title that poses a question - Will patenting crops help feed the hungry? Fair enough, except he then proceeds to provide an answer, which as the posted comments…
Iron-rich rice helps feed the poor: could we do it without patenting? Iron-rich rice helps feed the poor: could we do it without patenting? Jane Rawson

Will patenting crops help feed the hungry?

Rice is the primary source of food for roughly half the world’s population. But it falls well short of providing enough iron, zinc and pro-vitamin A to meet daily nutritional requirements. Iron deficiency…
GM is not being used to make fishbread Frankenfoods. GM is not being used to make fishbread Frankenfoods. Dave Lifson/Flickr

Top five myths about genetic modification

The Conversation asked CSIRO scientist, Richard Richards, to look at the top five myths about genetic modification (GM), and correct the public record. Myth one: GM is just haphazard, imprecise cross-breeding…
Despite attacks, CSIRO isn’t giving up on genetic research. Despite attacks, CSIRO isn’t giving up on genetic research. AAP

CSIRO: GM essential for health and food security

Just as medical researchers work to unlock the role our human genes play in disease, CSIRO investigates how plant genes can be used to boost the health benefits of food, increase crop yields and prevent…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (4)

Corn crops defeat acidic soil

Certain types of corn can grow in soil that would kill most plants. A genetic variation in certain strands of corn has meant…