Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

New study finds genetically engineered crops could play a role in sustainable agriculture

June 08, 2007
(Santa Barbara, California) - Genetically modified (GM) crops may contribute to increased productivity in sustainable agriculture, according to a groundbreaking study published in the June 8 issue of the journal Science. The study analyzes, for the first time, environmental impact data from field experiments all over the world, involving corn and cotton plants with a Bt gene inserted for its insecticidal properties. The research was conducted by scientists at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, The Nature Conservancy, and Santa Clara University. The study is accompanied by a searchable global database for agricultural and environmental scientists studying the effects of genetically engineered crops.

Biotechnology and genetic engineering are controversial because of concerns about risks to human health and biodiversity, but few analyses exist that reveal the actual effects genetically modified plants have on other non-modified species. In an analysis of 42 field experiments, scientists found that this particular modification, which causes the plant to produce an insecticide internally, can have an environmental benefit because large-scale insecticide spraying can be avoided. Organisms such as ladybird beetles, earthworms, and bees in locales with "Bt crops" fared better in field trials than those within locales treated with chemical insecticides.

"This is a groundbreaking study and the first of its kind to evaluate the current science surrounding genetically modified crops. The results are significant for how we think about technology and the future of sustainable agriculture," said Peter Kareiva, chief scientist of The Nature Conservancy.

According to lead author, Michele Marvier, of Santa Clara University, "We can now answer the question: Do Bt crops have effects on beneficial insects and worms" The answer is that it depends to a large degree upon the type of comparison one makes. When Bt crops are compared to crops sprayed with insecticides, the Bt crops come out looking quite good. But when Bt crops are compared to crops without insecticides, there are reductions of certain animal groups that warrant further investigation." What is clear is that the advantages or disadvantages of GM crops depend on the specific goals and vision for agroecosystems.

As NCEAS Director, Jim Reichman explains, "This important study by an interdisciplinary research team reveals how an in-depth analysis of large quantities of existing data from many individual experiments can provide a greater understanding of a complex issue. The project is enhanced by the creation of a public database, Nontarget Effects of Bt Crops, developed by NCEAS ecoinformatics expert, Jim Regetz, that will allow other scientists to conduct congruent analyses."

National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis/UCSB


Related Genetically Modified Current Events and Genetically Modified News Articles


Walking on ice takes more than brains
Walking across an icy parking lot in winter--and remaining upright--takes intense concentration.

What does a GOP-led Congress mean for science -- and the public?
With Republicans now at the helm, Congress is gearing up to pursue a legislative agenda with potentially profound implications for science and how it informs policies on the environment, energy, health and agriculture.

Unexpected turn in diabetes research
Years of diabetes research carried out on mice whose DNA had been altered with a human growth hormone gene is now ripe for reinterpretation after a new study by researchers at KU Leuven confirms that the gene had an unintended effect on the mice's insulin production, a key variable in diabetes research.

T cell receptor ensures Treg functionality
T cells play an important role in the immune system, destroying pathogens and controlling the body's immune responses.

Diabetes debate: Triglycerides form in liver despite insulin resistance
Solving one of the great mysteries of type 2 diabetes, a team of Yale researchers found that triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood and liver, are produced in the liver independent of insulin action in the liver.

CNIO team has visualized the DNA double-strand break process for the first time
Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), led by Guillermo Montoya, have developed a method for producing biological crystals that has allowed scientists to observe --for the first time-- DNA double chain breaks.

Obesity - like father, like son
The consumption of a sugary banquet before sex can have far-reaching consequences for a fruit fly and its offspring: it makes the young flies more prone to obesity.

Natural 'high' could avoid chronic marijuana use
Replenishing the supply of a molecule that normally activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain could relieve mood and anxiety disorders and enable some people to quit using marijuana, a Vanderbilt University study suggests.

Revealed: How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them
A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial 'nanodrills' assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells' outer membranes.

A CNIO team discovers that a derivative of vitamin B3 prevents liver cancer in mice
Liver cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in the world, and with the worst prognosis; according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2012, 745,000 deaths were registered worldwide due to this cause, a figure only surpassed by lung cancer.
More Genetically Modified Current Events and Genetically Modified News Articles

Foreign Invaders: An Autoimmune Disease Journey through Monsanto's World of Genetically Modified (GM) Food

Foreign Invaders: An Autoimmune Disease Journey through Monsanto's World of Genetically Modified (GM) Food
by The Difference Press


"A must-read for anyone dealing with health issues or wanting to learn more about eating cleaner, avoiding toxins, and improving diet!"

Whether or not you have a chronic illness or you are caught up in the autoimmune epidemic, genetically modified foods are a health risk. After being diagnosed with autoimmune disease and being disappointed by doctor after doctor, Dara Jones set off on a mission to recover her health with real food. In the footsteps of Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth, Dara takes you on her journey through Monsanto’s world of GMO foods. After reading it, you’ll be empowered to take the reins of your own health and will never look at your grocery store shelves the same way.
In this personal account of her ongoing health recovery from...

Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability

Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
by Bruno McGrath (Author)


"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein This ebook points out the surrounding issues of genetically modified fruit and vegetables that consumers are unaware of. While several parties defend the use of technology to create food, it appears that little is being done to increase awareness about this matter to the end consumer. It also points out alternative food sustainability options such as organic farming and land management. This ebook will indicate that although some parties agree that genetically modified food items are cost effective and considered safe, its long-term results have not been adequately researched and the use of pesticides on these items are far higher than for other types farming or food products.

Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and Our Genetically Modified Future

Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and Our Genetically Modified Future
by Jason Louv (Author)


Monsanto—one of the largest agriculture and biotech companies in the world—creates genetically engineered seeds and food, or GMOs. They've also brought us toxic chemicals like DDT, PCBs and even Agent Orange.  But what is Monsanto truly doing to our diet—and why do many consider their business practices deeply abusive? Are GMOs the solution to world hunger, or a shockingly dangerous threat to our health? And does Monsanto really, as some suggest, control much of the United States' agriculture and food departments?  Meticulously researched, Monsanto vs. the World puts to rest the myths and shows the shocking reality, delving into the science of GMOs, the political machinations of Monsanto in Washington and around the world, and showing what you can do to keep GMOs off your plate...

Genetically Modified Foods (Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints)

Genetically Modified Foods (Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints)
by Lauri S Friedman (Author)


Explore the issue of genetically modified food with expert opinions in a pro/con format and encourage critical thinking. Includes colorful photos, charts, graphs, cartoons, fact boxes, questions, annotated bibliography and research sources.

Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically Modified Crops
by Nigel G. Halford (Author)


Plant molecular biology came to the fore in the early 1980s and there has been tremendous growth in the subject since then. The study of plant genes and genomes and the development of techniques for the incorporation of novel or modified genes into plants eventually led to the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) crops in the mid-1990s. This was seen as the start of a biotechnological revolution in plant breeding. However, plant biotechnology has become one of the hottest debates of the age and, in Europe at least, one of the greatest challenges that plant scientists have ever faced. This is a description of the history and development of the science and techniques that underpin plant biotechnology, GM crops that are grown commercially around the world and the new varieties that...

Food, Farms, and Solidarity: French Farmers Challenge Industrial Agriculture and Genetically Modified Crops (New Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century)

Food, Farms, and Solidarity: French Farmers Challenge Industrial Agriculture and Genetically Modified Crops (New Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century)
by Chaia Heller (Author)


The Confédération Paysanne, one of France's largest farmers' unions, has successfully fought against genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but unlike other allied movements, theirs has been led by producers rather than consumers. In Food, Farms, and Solidarity, Chaia Heller analyzes the group's complex strategies and campaigns, including a call for a Europe-wide ban on GM crops and hormone-treated beef, and a protest staged at a McDonald's. Her study of the Confédération Paysanne shows the challenges small farms face in a postindustrial agricultural world. Heller also reveals how the language the union uses to argue against GMOs encompasses more than the risks they pose; emphasizing solidarity has allowed farmers to focus on food as a cultural practice and align themselves with other...

Genetically Modified Food (Global Viewpoints)

Genetically Modified Food (Global Viewpoints)
by Greenhaven Press (Editor)


Global Viewpoints: Genetically Modified Food explores the following issues related to genetically modified food: attitudes toward genetically modified food around the world, the impact of genetically modified crops on agriculture, the impact of geneticall; This series provides readers with the information they need to think critically about the worldwide implications of global issues; each volume focuses on a controversial topic of worldwide importance and offers a panoramic view of opinions.; By illuminating the complexities and interrelations of the global community, this excellent resource helps students and other researchers enhance their global awareness. Each volume focuses on a controversial topic of worldwide importance and offers a pan

Genetically Modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology (Contemporary Issues Series)

Genetically Modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology (Contemporary Issues Series)
by Michael Ruse (Editor), David Castle (Editor)


Finally, the real story about corporate America with its increased reliance on consultants. Since the 1990s, consulting solutions have become the de facto standard for solving business problems and providing cover for corporate decision makers. This is not the typical CEO whitewash, or business management primer. Steve Romaine offers a view never before shared with management or stockholders as he takes a hired gun's journey beginning at the outside looking in, and ending at the pinnacle of a corporation's power.

Based on his experience of working for IBM, his later role as a self-employed consultant, and finally his responsibilities as senior vice president for NationsBank, Romaine makes it clear that the issues leading to the collapse of Enron were not isolated events. Soldier of...

Travels in the Genetically Modified Zone

Travels in the Genetically Modified Zone
by Mark L. Winston (Author)


With genetically modified crops we have entered uncharted territory--where visions of the triumph of biotechnology in agriculture vie with dire views of medical and environmental disaster. For two years Mark L. Winston traveled this fraught territory at home and abroad, listening to farmers, industry spokespeople, regulators, and researchers, canvassing high-security laboratories, environmentalist enclaves, and cyberspace, making a thorough survey of the facts, opinions, and practices deployed by opponents and proponents of transgenic crops. Through his sympathetic portrayal of the passions on all sides, Winston brings a clear, unbiased perspective to this bewildering landscape. Traveling with Winston, we see the excitement and curiosity that pervade laboratories developing...

Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Food

Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Food
by Nina V. Fedoroff (Author), Nancy Marie Brown (Author)


While European restaurants race to footnote menus, reassuring concerned gourmands that no genetically modified ingredients were used in the preparation of their food, starving populations around the world eagerly await the next harvest of scientifically improved crops. Mendel in the Kitchen provides a clear and balanced picture of this tangled, tricky (and very timely) topic.

Any farmer you talk to could tell you that we've been playing with the genetic makeup of our food for millennia, carefully coaxing nature to do our bidding. The practice officially dates back to Gregor Mendel -- who was not a renowned scientist, but a 19th century Augustinian monk. Mendel spent many hours toiling in his garden, testing and cultivating more than 28,000 pea plants, selectively determining very...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com