Agriculture

Why we need to go back to the future (and give it a name) - Stick

Peter Kerr Feb 01, 2017

Here’s a counter-intuitive notion, that if we’re smart, could allow our ‘analogue’ agricultural systems to thrive in a digital world. But to do so we MUST own our story. My contention is, the more society connects to the cloud, the more we will want to connect to the land. That is, as virtual and artificial becomes ubiquitous and cheaper, the … Read More

What’s around the corner? Sciblogs Horizon Scan - News

John Kerr Jan 30, 2017

What does the future hold in store for New Zealand science? What are the big issues our small, isolated country will face in a world of accelerating change? Over last two weeks we’ve seen some excellent commentary from New Zealand researchers contributing to our Sciblogs Horizon Scan special series. We asked experts across the spectrum of New Zealand science to … Read More

Towards tackling milk allergy - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Jan 25, 2017

New Zealand agricultural scientists have learnt that the calves of a cow modified to have less allergenic milk also have less allergenic milk, raising hopes of developing a variety of cattle that those will one type of milk allergy can drink. Jamie Morton writing in the New Zealand Herald has the story, GE cow’s offspring show ‘super-milk’ potential. For those … Read More

The “Great Acceleration” is cause for great concern. - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 18, 2017

By Prof Ralph E H Sims, Massey University, Palmerston North The future for secure and peaceful human life on our planet is under threat. A wide range of socio-economic indicators that illustrate global growth parameters from 1750 to 2010 confirm the rapid acceleration that has become particularly evident over the past six decades as world population … Read More

GM crops and herbicides: time to reassess risk assessment methods - Guest Work

Guest Work Jan 11, 2017

by Professor Jack Heinemann New studies published by Nature’s journal Scientific Reports are questioning the basis of how to determine the safety of products used in agriculture and at home. The first of these featured reports is on the application of ‘omics’ techniques to a long familiar GM maize line called NK603. The second featured report is on the … Read More

Is GM corn really different to non-GM corn? - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Dec 31, 2016

‘Substantially equivalent’ is the term used by regulatory bodies as part of confirming a GM crop is safe for consumption. Earlier work claims GM corn is ‘substantially equivalent’ to non-GM corn. Earlier this month a study was published in Scientific Reports claiming genetically modified corn is not substantially equivalent to non-GM corn, “Our molecular profiling results show that NK603 and its isogenic control … Read More

The big science stories of 2016 - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Dec 14, 2016

Nature’s made herself well known in science this year, with the recent Kaikoura earthquake dominating media attention for the past month.  A plan to make New Zealand predator free and the campylobacter outbreak that sent Havelock North hurtling to the bathroom made science a crucial part of news stories this year. As 2016 draws to a close, the Science Media … Read More

Book review: What’s so controversial about genetically modified food? - Scibooks

John Kerr Dec 11, 2016

John T Lang’s new book tackles a tough question: What’s so controversial about genetically modified food? The answer is: It’s complicated. While far from satisfying, this conclusion isn’t a cop out. The staggering complexity of our modern food systems is a returning theme in Lang’s small treatise on genetic modification (GM) and food. His observations and insights are … Read More

Book review: Cowspiracy – The Sustainability Secret - Scibooks

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Nov 12, 2016

A documentary regurgitated into book format falls flat in Cowspiracy, which investigates the role of animal husbandry in global greenhouse gas emissions. With its gripping image of a cow in dark colours staring out at you – the documentary Cowspiracy has been sitting unwatched on my Netflix queue for some time now.  I’ve been hesitant because anything that implies a … Read More