Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 11:01 pm
Researchers haven't given much thought to the effect of noise and noise pollution on plants. After all, plants don't have ears — at least, not the kind you hear with — so there doesn't seem to be much point. But thanks to ecologist Clinton Francis, that could be about to change.
Francis is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in North Carolina. But he has spent the past few years in northwestern New Mexico, studying noise pollution in Rattlesnake Canyon.
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).
Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 11:01 pm
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.
Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:54 pm
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.