Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Circumventing that Pesky Poison

Some crops that were genetically modified to be resistant to insect pests are losing that power, NPR reports.

It notes US farmers began using Bt crops in the late 1990s. The crops were genetically modified to include proteins from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that are poisonous to the larval stages of a number of insect pests. 

However, it reports that some pests are now becoming resistant to Bt crops — a scenario scientists worried about and tried to avoid by asking the US Environmental Protection Agency to limit the portion of land that could be used to grow Bt crops and require farmers to also grow non-Bt crops. While, as NPR reports, the EPA adopted the measure, there were disagreements over how much land had to be set aside for non-Bt crops.

It adds that scientists are again calling for new rules, especially ones that protect versions that came on the market later. Julie Peterson, an entomologist at the University of Nebraska, tells NPR that, without any rule changes, all Bt genes on the market could stop working within a decade.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.