biotechnology

Human Testing
6:51 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Opinion: exploring the ethics of human testing

"Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci. (Want to learn more about this famous image? Check out a link to an NPR piece with more background under our story below).
(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.

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Business
5:03 pm
Sun June 24, 2012

St. Louis County unveils $7.5 million biotech innovator on Monday

An up-close view of a microscope.
(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.

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Agriculture - Seed Patents
10:43 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Organic farmers file appeal in lawsuit against Monsanto

A field of soybeans grown with Monsanto's genetically-modified Roundup Ready seeds.
(via Monsanto)

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

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Sept. 11: a decade later
6:35 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Wash U: research against bioterrorism progressing, ten years after 9/11

U.S. Navy personnel take samples from a mock anthrax pile during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological (CBR) decontamination drill aboard an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf in 2007.
(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.

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Agriculture - biofuels
4:06 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

USDA to pay Mo. farmers to plant biomass energy crops

A two-year-old stand of the Miscanthus giganteus variety "Freedom." Dr. Brian Baldwin of Mississippi State University developed this variety (pictured).
(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.

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Agriculture
4:05 pm
Mon May 23, 2011

International ag conference showcases emerging companies to potential investors

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is hosting the Ag Innovation Showcase.
(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.

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Energy
6:27 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Biomass energy conference in St. Louis this week

A biomass gasifier in Sri Lanka. Gasifiers are used to convert biomass into usable energy.
(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.

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Biotech Agriculture
12:32 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Monsanto and Sapphire Energy to collaborate on algal gene research

Flasks of Algae at the Sapphire Energy Lab in San Diego. (Sapphire Energy, Inc.)

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.

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Biotech Agriculture
6:16 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

USDA gives full approval to Monsanto's genetically-modified alfalfa

Alfalfa fields in Idaho. (Flickr Creative Commons user Sam Beebe/Ecotrust)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that it has decided to allow unrestricted commercial planting of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa.

The alfalfa has been genetically-engineered to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, known commercially as Roundup.

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Biotech Agriculture
12:52 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

USDA: Monsanto’s genetically-engineered alfalfa is safe to plant (but maybe not everywhere)

Alfalfa fields in Idaho. (Flickr Creative Commons user Sam Beebe/Ecotrust)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa is safe to plant but may need some restrictions.

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