Scientists have used gene-editing techniques to stop the bird flu virus from spreading in chicken cells grown in the lab. The findings raise the possibility of producing gene-edited chickens that are resistant to the disease. Researchers prevented the virus from taking hold by deleting a section of chicken DNA inside lab-grown cells. The next step […] Read more
After exposing more than 70 million seeds to a soil-based herbicide, researchers at the University of Illinois were not able to find a single herbicide-resistant mutant. Though preliminary, the findings suggest that the mutation rate in amaranth is very low, and that low-level herbicide application contributes little — if anything — to the onset of […] Read more
A pest that has targeted strawberries and other soft fruits in Manitoba could be headed west. The spotted wing drosophila, which is thought to have come from southeast Asia, has been spotted in Manitoba in small numbers. SWD’s presence in Alberta and British Columbia suggests Saskatchewan may be the bug’s next home. SWD is an […] Read more
Neonicotinoid pesticides affect honeybees’ ability to groom and rid themselves of deadly mites, a University of Guelph study has revealed. The research comes as Health Canada places new limits on the use of three key neonicotinoids while it decides whether to impose a full phase-out of the chemicals. Neonics are the most commonly used insecticides […] Read more
A recent Japanese study has shown that extracts from the Sago palm stimulated nitrogen-producing bacterial transformation. Researchers hope that better understanding of the system could someday lead to more efficient, less fertilizer-dependent agricultural production. The cycad Cycas revolute, or Sago palm, is a palm-like plant that grows on rocky coastal cliffs in the subtropics and […] Read more
A New Jersey university is mapping the world’s manure in an effort to jump-start a movement to recycle phosphorus. In the April 2019 issue of Earth’s Future, a research team from Stevens Institute of Technology mapped the journey of phosphorus from soil to crops, to livestock and humans, and eventually into sewers and landfills. This […] Read more
University of Guelph biologists have tracked an annual migration of up to 20,000 kilometres made by the 12-gram blackpoll warbler, one of the fastest declining songbirds in North America. The bird’s trek between its breeding grounds in the central and western boreal forest of North America and its winter home in the Amazon Basin is […] Read more
In the next two decades, crop yields need to increase dramatically to feed the growing global population. Wouldn’t it be incredibly useful if we had a crystal ball to show us what are the best strategies available to increase crop yields? A team of scientists have just developed exactly that: a dynamic model that predicts […] Read more
Invasive weeds are a problem that defies solution, and only seems to get worse. That’s because they’re a community problem that cross property boundaries, according to weed scientist Muthu Bagavathiannan, of Texas A&M. Finding a real solution will involve recognizing the nature of weeds as a community problem, and managing them accordingly, he and other […] Read more
It’s not good when a fungus contaminates crops. Safe native fungi, however, show promise in the fight against toxic fungal contamination. One such harmful fungus is Aspergillus flavus, which can infect several crops, including corn, other cereal crops and some legumes. Some varieties, or strains, of A. flavus produce aflatoxins. Aflatoxin contamination costs farmers billions […] Read more
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