In the past 15 years, more than a billion hectares — an area greater than the land masses of China or the United States — have been cultivated with genetically engineered crops, according to an industry study. Biotech crop cultivation increased 87-fold between 1996 and 2010, making transgenic crops the fastest-adopted crop technology in the history of modern agriculture. Biotech advocates say it shows genetically modified agriculture is here to stay.
ST. LOUIS — In a nondescript basement lab, jeans-clad engineers clutch blueprints, scrape stepladders across the unfinished floor and chat about the Cardinals as they tighten bolts on a new prototype device. At first glance, it could be any machine shop in the country.
But then you notice the wispy strands of soybean seedlings curling to life, their root tendrils bunched into test tubes lightly packed with soil, and you remember — this place is all about seeds.
Next time you’re hungry, but unsure what to make for dinner, don’t despair — Kraft Foods has some ideas for you. Are you a mom? KraftBot calculates that you need Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Is it game day? KraftBot wants you to make queso dip, so here’s a barcode for a brick of “cheese product.” Are you a hung over college dude? Take the Cheez Whiz and Ritz crackers.
Or maybe you’re morbidly obese. Go ahead, pick between a box of South Beach Diet fiber bars or a gallon jug of Hidden Valley Ranch — the choice is yours, shopper. Just as long as it’s Kraft, and only Kraft.
Future chicken cutlets may come from birds that have been genetically modified to resist bird flu, after a breakthrough in Britain announced this week. Researchers have produced chickens that cannot spread avian flu to other chickens, a major step toward protecting birds — and humans — from the deadly virus.
The transgenic cluckers still died from bird flu, however, so there’s still much more to be done before scientists produce a truly flu-free bird.
Hungry? Better turn on your linear induction motor and send a metal capsule through an underground polyethylene tube to retrieve some groceries.
That’s the vision of Foodtubes, a UK program that seeks to reduce carbon emissions by building a pipeline-capsule system to deliver food and freight. A series of tubes could ferry 6-foot-long metal bins among neighborhoods, entire cities or even to different countries, moving goods at 60 mph using linear induction motors and intelligent routing software.
Since they were introduced 15 years ago, genetically modified foods have taken astonishing hold in North America. This time of year, the result is a Thanksgiving menu that may, on the surface, look much the same as the one your grandma cooked 20 years ago. But at the genetic level, it is very different, and it's a far cry from the fabled feast shared by the pilgrims and American Indians in the 17th century. In celebration of Thanksgiving, the most food-focused day of the year, here's a look at how biotechnology is changing the way we eat.
Savor that leftover Halloween candy, because in the future, you won’t be able to afford it. Chocolate consumption is increasing faster than cocoa production, according to the Cocoa Research Association, and that means prohibitively expensive chocolate is in our future.
During the siege of Leningrad, 12 scientists starved to death rather than eat the grains stored at Pavlosk Agricultural Station, the world’s first seed bank. According to an AP story, their efforts to save the seeds for future generations may now be in vain after a Russian court approved plans to raze the station’s fields of plants so a developer can build luxury homes.
Readers with a sweet tooth had better start stockpiling candy -- first Choc Finger started hoarding all the world's chocolate, and now it seems the U.S. sugar supply may be in jeopardy. Farmers cannot plant new genetically modified sugar beets until the U.S. Department of Agriculture finishes a study about their environmental impact, a federal judge said Friday. That could take a couple years, which means sugar beet farmers and sugar processors might have trouble meeting demand after this year's harvest.
Franken-canola has been found growing along roadsides in North Dakota, in one of the first known cases of genetically modified crops taking hold in the wild. The finding shows that genetically modified canola plants can survive and thrive in the wild perhaps for decades, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
Meredith G. Schafer, a graduate student from the University of Arkansas, and colleagues traveled along 3,000 miles of interstate, state and county roads in North Dakota and stopped every five miles to take a sample of a canola plant. Of the 406 plants collected, 80 percent of them had at least one transgene.
Apparently, human urine works remarkably well as a fertilizer for tomatoes, according to a new study out of Finland.
Plants fertilized with a mixture of stored human urine and wood ash produced 4.2 times more fruit than plants without the pee, the study found. The urine-fertilized tomatoes had more beta-carotene than unfertilized ones, and much more protein than traditionally fertilized plants.
When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking
By Ted Allen
Posted 07.28.2008 at 10:37 am 2 Comments
See Ted Allen and your favorite Popular Science editors on "Food Detectives" every Tuesday night.
Dave Arnold would like to fix you a gin and tonic. Sound good? It will be. It will be very, very good. It will be like no gin and tonic you have ever seen or tasted in your life. It will also be considerably more involved, shall we say, than cracking open the Tanqueray and Schweppes.
In the kitchens of today's cutting-edge chefs, food processors share prep space with appliances straight out of the lab. See our gallery of the most extreme kitchen tech—as well as some more accessible gizmos for the home chef
By Anne Wootton and Abby Seiff
Posted 10.10.2007 at 2:00 am 2 Comments
A kitchen equipped for "molecular gastronomy"-gourmet cuisine as cooked by Mr. Wizard, basically-is all about the tech. Devices that wouldn´t be out of place in a chemistry lab fill the kitchens of some of the world´s most adventurous chefs, enabling far-out dishes like whipped-cream pancakes, lobster sorbet (shells and all) and meat-flavored mushrooms.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.