Tagged: genetic modification

A change of government: 5 things it could mean for New Zealand science - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Oct 19, 2017

After days of reading reports from frustrated reporters camped out in front of the elevators in Bowen House, we finally have an answer on the shape of our next government – a Labour-New Zealand First coalition. The Greens, with a confidence and supply arrangement with Labour, will be in the mix in some capacity as well by the time … Read More

Fonterra’s blindspot – synthetic milk - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Oct 13, 2017

Last year I found myself sitting on a plane beside a Fonterra executive who was bound for Chicago, where the dairy giant’s US operation is based. I asked him what he considered to be the biggest issues the company faced. He immediately mentioned “trace-ability” and giving Fonterra’s customers confidence in the safety of its products, something that is rightly … Read More

For the birds – reflections on the PCE report - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Jun 08, 2017

There’s an important recommendation missing from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s list of things to help endangered birds. It hardly would work for all birds, but it is ridiculous that it is banned for those birds for which it would work. Let people farm them. Roger Beattie has demonstrated that he can successfully raise weka. There would be … Read More

Cyborg bugs - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 10, 2017

Here’s a sci-fi scenario that may become reality: genetically modified cyborgs susceptible to mind control. That’s the plan for a collaboration between engineering R&D firm Draper and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  They are focusing on dragonflies, and using optogenetics so that their movements can be controlled by light. The techniques and technologies are there, … 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

What does research say about how to effectively communicate about science? - Guest Work

Guest Work Dec 20, 2016

Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University and Dietram A. Scheufele, University of Wisconsin-Madison Truth seems to be an increasingly flexible concept in politics. At least that’s the impression the Oxford English Dictionary gave recently, as it declared “post-truth” the 2016 Word of the Year. What happens when decisions are based on misleading or blatantly wrong information? … 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

Opposition to genetically modified animals could leave millions hungry - Guest Work

Guest Work Feb 11, 2016

James D Murray, University of California, Davis and Jenny Graves, La Trobe University In a world with a ballooning population and deteriorating environment, we will need to use every trick in the book to stave off mass starvation, disease and political chaos. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there are … Read More

Zika update – sexual transmission & GM mosquitoes - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 04, 2016

Earlier this week the WHO declared the Zika virus outbreak in the Americas a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and yesterday the CDC reported that someone in Dallas had become infected with the virus by having sex with someone infected overseas. Meanwhile, the internet is awash with claims that genetically-modified mosquitoes are to blame for the outbreak in Brazil.  In … Read More

Scotland’s GM ban and the backlash from science - Griffin's Gadgets

Peter Griffin Aug 19, 2015

A group of scientific institutions in the UK and Europe have today sent an open letter to Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, expressing dismay at Scotland’s proposal to ban GM crops in the country. Here’s the letter in full… 17th August 2015 Dear Mr Lochhead Your announcement that the Scottish Government proposes to ban … Read More