CRISPR Conundrum

July 23, 2019

Strict European court ruling leaves food-testing labs without a plan. Scientists struggle to detect the unauthorized sale of gene-edited crops whose altered DNA can mimic natural mutations

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Just 50 years ago, some 1,000 small and family-owned seed companies were producing and distributing seeds in the United States; by 2009, there were fewer than 100. Thanks to a series of mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, four multinational agrochemical firms now control over 60 percent of global seed sales

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African swine fever (ASF), a deadly virus in pigs and wild boar, continues to spread in China and will almost certainly wreak havoc in other countries in Asia soon. That’s the somber conclusion from a meeting of animal health experts organized by the United Nations’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Bangkok late last week

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Scientists have engineered swine that pollute less, fend off disease, and produce more meat, but you won’t find them outside experimental farms . . . yet

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Predicting the next pandemic is tricky work. When the newborn piglets first started getting sick in October 2016, farmers in China’s Guangdong province suspected porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) — a disease they’d seen in the pigs before. And, at first, the tests did come back positive for PEDV. But then something strange happened. By January 2017, the pigs stopped testing positive for that virus — but kept getting sick

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Foam from cow lungs can be transformed into a lifesaving treatment for premature infants struggling to breathe. We take you to a slaughterhouse in Canada where an unusual sort of craftsmen retrieve this precious liquid before it’s shipped around the world

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Gene editing can change an animal’s sex

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In Weathersfield, Vt., a town once dotted with small milking farms, about 60 cows peacefully chew hay at their home on Fuller Farm. They are the last remaining dairy herd in Weathersfield, and they’ll be auctioned off this week. This is a growing trend in the changing dairy industry — in the state and beyond

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