Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:30 am
By the time Republican primary season got around to Illinois in past election cycles, the Land of Lincoln was pretty much an afterthought since the party's nominee had already been decided. Not this time.
Mitt Romney has what seems like an insurmountable lead in delegates. But there are questions as to whether he can reach the 1,144 needed for the nomination by the party's August convention. And with his rivals, especially Rick Santorum, refusing to exit the race, the GOP primaries have entered the grind-it-out-for-every-delegate phase.
Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 12:45 pm
This week the action in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday.
In advance of that contest, Public Policy Polling is out with a new survey that it says shows "Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory." It has the former Massachusetts governor ahead of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 45 percent to 30 percent (with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul trailing far behind).
OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.
Unless you grow cotton, corn or soybeans for a living, it's hard to appreciate just how amazing and wonderful it seemed, 15 years ago, when Roundup-tolerant crops hit the market. I've seen crusty farmers turn giddy just talking about it.
Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 10:37 am
A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.
The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.
As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.
The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.
Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 10:31 am
For an election that shouldn't matter on paper, Missouri's primary on Tuesday may carry a lot of weight.
The state's Republican electorate tends to be both populist and conservative. That could give former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has campaigned in Missouri the most — and the most recently — among GOP presidential candidates, the chance for a strong showing.
It's flat. It's slimy. And it hides under rocks on the river bottom. It's the Ozark hellbender, and at up to two feet in length, it's one of the world's largest salamanders.
But Ozark hellbenders are disappearing: Fewer than 600 are left in the rivers of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Scientists have been making a huge effort to get them to breed in captivity. And now, thanks to a major effort at the Saint Louis Zoo, 2012 could be the year of new hope for hellbenders.