File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

“Trade is a two-way street.” That’s the message U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., wants President Barack Obama to deliver to Chinese President Xi Jinping, when the two men meet this week in Washington. Xi begins an official state visit here Friday.

“Missouri farmers have to be able to sell our products in China on a level playing field and right now they’re being treated unfairly,” McCaskill told St. Louis Public Radio.

Melanie Bernds, Danforth Plant Science Center

"Precision agriculture" is the trend to watch at this year's Ag Innovation Showcase at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

The Danforth Center’s Chief Operator Officer, Sam Fiorello, said that's a change for the international gathering.

When the Showcase started in 2009, most of the participating start-ups were using genetic engineering to develop crops that could resist pests, drought or other agricultural stresses.

This year, none of the products presented involve GMOs.    

Washington University School of Medicine

In the not-so-distant future, it will be possible, perhaps even common place, to have computers implanted in our brains, says St. Louis neurosurgeon Eric Leuthardt.

St. Louis Public Radio

A Monsanto researcher is one of the winners of the 2013 World Food Prize.

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley will share the international honor with Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta and Belgian plant scientist Marc Van Montagu.


One of the country’s largest startup incubators will soon be moving into the Cortex bioscience district in St. Louis.

The move marks Cambridge Innovation Center’s first expansion out of the Boston area, where it houses more than 500 small to mid-sized companies.

CIC’s president and CEO, Ranch Kimball, says he expects the new St. Louis facility to attract mostly technology startups, but says CIC will be open to a variety of businesses.

(Dan Charles/NPR)

Updated on Tuesday, February 19, at 6:10 p.m. to add quote from Bowman.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a legal battle between St. Louis-based Monsanto and a 75-year-old Indiana farmer.

The case revolves around whether Vernon Hugh Bowman violated Monsanto's patent rights when he bought seeds from a grain elevator and planted them.

St. Louis Public Radio

Monsanto says its net income nearly tripled in the agricultural products company's first quarter as sales of its biotech corn seeds expanded in Latin American countries.

The company, which is based in St. Louis, is also raising its profit guidance for the year, and shares are up 4 percent in premarket trading. Monsanto said Tuesday that it earned $339 million, or 63 cents per share, in the three months ended November 30, from $126 million, or 23 cents per share, in last year's quarter.

(via Flickr/breahn)

The numbers are pretty impressive, more than three dozen new biotech startups now call St. Louis home and collectively they’re hauling in tens of millions of dollars from investors.

(Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

One piece of a planned $2.1 billion expansion of the life sciences district Cortex has fallen into place.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The life sciences district known as Cortex has gotten initial approval for the first phase of its $2.1 billion expansion plan.

The city's Tax Increment Financing commission voted today to authorize about $35 million in incentives for the first phase, which totals about $160 million.

The phase includes new office and laboratory space, a new Shriners' Hospital, and a streetscape known as Cortex Commons. Here's how it breaks down:

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and local activist groups plan to mark the occasion by protesting biotechnology giant Monsanto.

Barbara Chicherio is with the Gateway Green Alliance, which opposes genetically modified organisms developed by St. Louis based Monsanto and other biotech companies.

She said tomorrow's protests will represent a shift within the Occupy movement to focus on specific issues.

(via Flickr/A Comment)

Monsanto is leading the fight to block a California ballot initiative that would require labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria dell' Accademia, Venice (1485-90)

People are sometimes used as test subjects in scientific research – from clinical trials, to studies on the toxicity of pesticides.

The federal government is currently revising the regulation designed to protect human research subjects from harm.

Washington University law professor Rebecca Dresser wrote an article published in the journal Science, talking about some changes she’d like to see made. She spoke with St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra.

(via Flickr/breahn)

The St. Louis County Economic Council is opening the doors to its new biotech incubator on Monday afternoon and the agency says it will serve as a launching pad for biotech businesses.

Officials say The Helix Center Biotech Incubator is a 17,000 square foot facility loaded with lab and office space with a prime location next to the Danforth Plant Center.

Entrepreneurial efforts are nothing new to the council, which runs four other incubators in the region.

(via Monsanto)

A coalition of organic farmers and grower organizations has filed an appeal in its lawsuit challenging Monsanto seed patents.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kyle Steckler)

Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax started appearing in the U.S. mail, killing five people and sickening 17 others.

The incidents triggered a surge in research dedicated to preventing future bioterrorism attacks.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with Washington University virologist David Wang about his research on emerging infectious diseases, and how his work is helping to combat bioterrorism.

(Wikimedia Commons)

The USDA has chosen two new areas in Missouri to participate in a program promoting biomass energy crops.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the program will pay farmers to plant giant miscanthus, a perennial grass that can be used for energy production.

(Donald Danforth Plant Science Center)

An event starting Monday at the Danforth Plant Science Center is looking to match up investors with emerging agricultural technology companies from across the globe.

The third annual Ag Innovation Showcase will draw international venture capitalists and corporate agricultural investors like Monsanto, Syngenta and Dupont.

Showcase organizer Mark Gorski says sixteen agricultural start-ups from the Netherlands, India, and a number of other countries will be vying for their attention.

(via Flickr/shehal)

Representatives of the biomass energy industry have gathered in St. Louis this week.

They're here to discuss technologies for turning everything from crop residues to municipal trash into liquid fuels, heat, and electricity.

Tim Portz is the program director for BBI international, the company organizing the International Biomass Conference & Expo.

He says it's not going to be easy for the biomass industry to gain a foothold in the marketplace of already established U.S. energy producers.

Monsanto is entering a multi-year research collaboration with San Diego-based Sapphire Energy.

Sapphire specializes in genetically-engineering algae with the goal of producing drop-in replacements for fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

The collaboration between Sapphire and Monsanto will focus on identifying genes that positively affect growth in algae and that might also increase agricultural crop yields.