Agricultural and Forestry Science

Slowing insect resistance to genetically modified crops

Genetically modified Bt crops are now widely used in the USA.

These crops contain genes from bacteria that make them toxic to some insect pests. A central concern in regulating these genetically modified crops is the risk of insects evolving resistance to the Bt toxins.

To reduce this risk, the “high dose/refuge” strategy is now being used, in which non-Bt fields (refuges for insect pests) are planted near Bt fields (where there is high dose of toxin).

In the Nove

Planting time for forest trees branches out to new seasons

Texas research shows mid-September success with containerized trees

Most foresters hold to the straight and narrow when it comes to planting pine trees: nursery seedlings go in the ground between Dec. 1 and March 1. Period.

But a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station study is branching out to show that early planting — even as early as mid-September – can give slash pine trees a growing head start towards better survivability, thus faster regrowth on harvested or burnt area

Report examines use of antibiotics in agriculture

Antibiotics have been used against infectious diseases with great success and have been a part of agriculture for many years. Agricultural uses of antibiotics include the treatment and prevention of diseases in animals and plants and the promotion of growth in food animals. But scientists have long recognized a down side. The concentrated and widespread use of antibiotic agents has resulted in the emergence of drug-resistant organisms, some of which can now survive most commercially available antibio

Healthy rocks and wildlife farming

The relationship between rocks and our health, and new methods for farming and countryside management to both encourage wildlife and make a profit, are just two of the exciting research projects highlighted in the latest issue of Planet Earth, the quarterly journal of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The rock diet

Rocks are a vital source of the essential elements and minerals people need to stay healthy. The British Geological Survey (BGS) together with part

First soybeans grown in space return to Earth

In unprecedented space research, DuPont scientists have attained a significant scientific accomplishment regarding the future development of soybeans – one of the most consumed crops in the world today.

During a research mission that concluded with the return of Space Shuttle Atlantis Friday, soybean seeds planted and nurtured by DuPont scientists germinated, developed into plants, flowered, and produced new seedpods in space. The 97-day growth research initiative is the first-ever to compl

UCSF-led team reports new test improves detection of prions in animals

UCSF-led researchers have developed a highly sensitive, automated test for detecting prions (PREE-on) that they report significantly improves the accuracy and speed of detecting the various forms of the infectious agent, which causes a set of neurodegenerative diseases, in cattle, sheep, deer and elk.

Because the test is automated, the researchers say, it could be used for high-throughput testing of brain samples of cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or “mad cow” disease, a

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