Latest articles

Researchers eye canola for drought insight

Looking at the plants’ day and night cycles is shedding light on 
how plants respond to moisture stress

Your canola crop could hold the key to understanding how plants react to drought stress. That’s according to researchers at Dartmouth University who are looking at how early drought stress affects brassica rapa. The research, recently published in the journal eLife, looks at the full day and night cycle of the plants to see how […] Read more


The key to drought-tolerant crops may be in the leaves

Leaf wax acts as the equivalent of ‘lip balm’ for plants, 
protecting them from the harmful effects of drought

A new study suggests breeding plants with a thicker layer of leaf wax is the key to greater drought tolerance and growing crops in more arid regions. Sarah Feakins, a scientist at University of Southern California who has studied leaf wax in the context of climate change, teamed up recently with researchers at Texas A&M […] Read more



Canadian sausages can be mystery meat

A recent study finds 20 per cent of sausages in 
Canadian stores are mislabelled

Using cutting-edge DNA-based technology, University of Guelph researchers have found mislabelling and cross-species contamination of meat ingredients in 20 per cent of the sausage samples selected from grocery stores across the country. “This study now provides us with a baseline that we can use when working with meat processors to help ensure we have a […] Read more


Vegetarian junk food panned

Researchers say there are plenty of plant-based unhealthy dietary choices out there

Medical researchers have long said plant-based diets are healthier — but it turns out what type of plant-based foods matter a lot. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and other ‘basic’ plant foods can in fact lower the risk of heart disease, result in less obesity and other positive impacts. But a recent study published in […] Read more



Rural living good for your gut

Canadian researchers say children raised in the country 
have lower rates of inflammatory bowel disease

Living in rural households decreases a person’s risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), particularly for young children and adolescents, according to a new study by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium (CanGIEC). “Our findings show that children, […] Read more


Send them out to the barn

Compound found in animals but not humans 
sparks immunity against asthma

It’s already known that farm kids are less prone to asthma, but a new study by immunologists from the University of Zurich has identified sialic acid found in farm animals as the reason. A university release said this substance is widespread in vertebrates and therefore in many farm animals, but missing in the human organism. […] Read more



Warmer Arctic linked to weaker vegetation growth in North America

The effects of climate change in the extreme north 
can be felt far away, researchers say

Warmer temperatures in the Arctic are having an unexpected effect elsewhere in North America climate, scientists say. Researchers from Korea’s Pohang University and the South University of Science and Technology of China say their analysis suggests the northernmost regions of the continent may be warming and becoming more productive. But that’s being offset by effects […] Read more


Wheat lost blast resistance recently

There’s good news and bad news for the world’s wheat crops. An international consortium of researchers have identified a gene in wheat that protects the plants from the deadly fungus which causes wheat blast infections. Unfortunately it would appear many strains of wheat lost this gene sometime in the 1980s, when it was inadvertently bred […] Read more



Finnish firm produces shipping container farm

Exsilio says its turnkey solution will let commercial kitchens and restaurants produce peak ingredients on site

Call it a garden in a box. Exsilio, a Finnish company, has developed a high-tech solution for cultivating crops like salads and herbs in urban environments. Its EkoFARMER system is a modified shipping container, stuffed with growing equipment. “Our solution is ideal for restaurants and institutional kitchens wanting to produce their own fresh ingredients,” Thomas […] Read more


Cell wall secrets could unlock plant potential

U.K. researchers say figuring this puzzle out could improve hunt for traits

We’ve gone a long way in recent years unlocking the genetic potential of plants — but mainly the focus has been on seeds and fruits. Now researchers from Britain’s University of York and Quadram Institute say they’re unlocking the genetic secrets of plant cell walls, which could help improve the quality of some plant-based foods. […] Read more