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Category Archive for 'Plant Genetic Engineering'

From Plant Secrets To Plant Antibiotics What were the five most re-tweeted and favorited plant news stories that I shared in September of last year? Well, here they are, in order of popularity, lowest to highest. “Scientists from the John Innes Centre have pioneered innovative new cell imaging techniques to shed light on cells hidden […]

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From Very, Very Old Plants To New Uses For Plants It’s been an unusually cold winter here in the upper left-hand corner of the USA, so it’s pleasant to recall the warm days of June 2016. That month, the plant news topics ranged from ancient plants to new, exciting uses for plant biotechnology. “Scientists at […]

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From Blocking Pollen To Blocking Disease If there was a recurring theme in the March 2016 plant news it may have been plant defense. Defense against foreign genes, defense against herbivores, and defense against disease all made an appearance. “Contamination of organic corn by genetically modified pollen is a major concern for growers, who stand […]

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“Double helix in the sky tonight Throw out the hardware Let’s do it right” – Steely Dan Here A CRISPR, There A CRISPR, Everywhere A CRISPR, CRISPR…. Yikes! You can hardly go through a week these days without reading some headline with “CRISPR” in the title. (Even in Time magazine!) Yes, “CRISPR” currently is (and […]

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Firstly, What Is A Roundup Ready® Crop? Well, let’s start out with: What’s Roundup®? Briefly, Roundup® is the commercial name for the herbicide glyphosate, first made and sold by Monsanto in the 1970’s. You can read more about Roundup® HERE. “Roundup Ready®” is Monsanto’s trade name for crops (soybean, maize, cotton & alfalfa, e.g.) that […]

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From Decaf Coffee Plants To Non-Browning Apples Have you ever had a really good cup of decaf coffee? Me neither. This is likely because most decaf coffee results from chemical processing of normal coffee beans. But why would anyone want coffee without caffeine? And why do plants make caffeine in the first place? These questions […]

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Plant-Based Vaccines – A Great Idea It’s been over 20 years since I introduced students in my plant sciences classes to the idea of using genetically-engineered plants (GMOs) as a source of edible vaccines. Basically, the idea was that some crop plants could be genetically engineered to produce vaccines in their edible parts, which could […]

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Spraying RNAi To Silence Target Genes In Crops (And Insect Pests)… Many object to GMO crop plants, at least in part, because they contain foreign genes artificially – and permanently – inserted into the plant’s genome. But what if you could TEMPORARILY modifY plants (and even their insect pests) by simply spraying little bits of […]

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Another Take On The Term “Rewilding”? In the previous post, we explored the concept of crop “rewilding” as it pertains to genetically resurrecting “wild” plant genes by reintroducing or by re-activating them in some modern crop plants. One of the main justifications for doing so is to develop new crop plants to help feed and […]

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A Blast From The Past? Is it just me, or does there seem to be a lot about the so-called “rewilding” of crop plants in the news lately? (Please see here, for example.) I think I first heard the term “rewilding” about 20 years ago in a Biology Department seminar at Montana State University. In […]

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