GFM Network News


University of California researchers say growing cannabis compounds may be supplanted by producing them using yeast.

Yeast produces low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids

The development isn’t commercially ready yet, but it could change the budding cannabis and hemp industries

Before Canadian hemp and cannabis growers have even begun to capitalize on new markets, they could have new and novel competition. University of California synthetic biologists have engineered brewer’s yeast to produce marijuana’s main ingredients — mind-altering THC and non-psychoactive CBD — as well as novel cannabinoids not found in the plant itself. Feeding only

The researchers studied Acmispon strigosus, a plant in the pea family that is native to the southwestern United States.

Reach for the top

It’s not just soil microbes that set crops up for success — it’s the right ones

Beautiful things can happen when plants surround themselves with the right microbes, according to researchers at the University of California (Riverside). They looked at Acmispon strigosus, a plant in the pea family, and found a thirteenfold growth increase in plants that partnered with a highly effective strain of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria Bradyrhizobium. The ability of


Maya Almaraz, a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellow at UC-Davis and the study’s lead author, samples soils for NOx emissions in Palm Springs, California.

Soils make smog too

California researchers say as much as 40 per cent 
of nitrogen oxides come from fertilizers

Internal combustion engines are typically blamed for smog in urban centres but researchers in California say fertilized fields need to be added to that list. The scientists, from University of California-Davis, say they’ve found about 40 per cent of the nitrogen oxide emissions in the Golden State is coming from fertilized soils in the agriculture-rich

A robotic weeder in a vegetable field near Davis, California. The rows must be very straight and precise for the weeder to properly do its job.

A row to hoe

Robots are the future of weed control, one researcher says

Forget about that old hoe — it’s time to go high tech with weed control. Researchers at the University of California-Davis say robotic weeders are already making headway in high-value vegetable crops, fuelled by a lack of chemical controls and lack of affordable labour. Steven Fennimore, an extension specialist at the university, pegs the cost

Plants crave light and even grow towards it. Now researchers understand how they do that.

Shine a light on plant growth

Researchers have discovered how plants respond to changes in light 
at the molecular level

Plants don’t have eyes, but it would seem they do “see” their surroundings using light. That’s made possible by proteins called photoreceptors that absorb light and convert it into a signal that turns genes on or off. Until now, scientists haven’t fully understood the molecular mechanism underlying that process, which allows plants to recognize when


Vitamin supplements can help make up dietary shortfalls, but consult your doctor first because some health issues can mean a greater need for them.

Do you need a vitamin pill?

Do your homework before taking vitamin supplements

You need to eat more vegetables,” my husband said to our 13-year-old daughter. He was scraping the uneaten vegetables from her plate while she was getting a daily kids’ vitamin for herself. I walked into the kitchen during their conversation. “I really don’t like vegetables,” she announced a little sheepishly. I can attest that she

A ruby-throated hummingbird is handled by a researcher prior to being released.

Older hummingbirds better prepared

Lengthy annual migration reveals profound differences between young birds and the more experienced ones

The small, but mighty ruby-throated hummingbird flies 2,000 km on its migratory journeys without a break, researchers report in the journal The Auk: Ornithological Advances. New research provides some of the first details of the hummingbird’s annual fall journey from the eastern United States to Central America. It shows that their fall migration peaks in

Common cattle virus linked to breast cancer in women

A high percentage of women with breast cancer has been exposed to the bovine leukemia virus (BLV)

Researchers with University of California, Berkeley, are exploring a link between a common bovine virus and breast cancer in women. In a study analyzing 239 tissue samples from women diagnosed with breast cancer, scientists found 59 per cent had been exposed to the bovine leukemia virus (BLV) compared to 29 per cent of tissue samples


The amount of genome sequences the researchers released is 
about four times the size of the entire rice genome.

Researchers sequence two-thirds of the barley genome

Information may allow more targeted selection of quality characteristics

A team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside says it has reached a new milestone in its work on sequencing the barley genome. In a release Aug. 26, the researchers said they have sequenced large portions of the genome that together contain nearly two-thirds of all barley genes. They said because barley

Judging food contests tempts the plate

Prairie Fare: Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

My job has a few perks, and judging the occasional food contest ranks among them. I have judged potatoes, beef, ham and pies, to name a few. I judged another food contest a couple of weeks ago. All of the food entries were numbered and placed on tables, and our team of three judges studied