Travel up and down California farm country, the Central Valley, and you hardly hear people lamenting the lack of rain or how dry this past winter was. What you hear, from the agriculture industry and many local and national politicians, are sentiments like those expressed by Rep. Devin Nunes:
"Well, what I always like to say is that this is a man-made drought created by government," the Central Valley Republican says.
In the ocean off of Massachusetts, an unlikely alliance of scientists and fishermen is on a quest. They're looking for mating codfish. The goal is not only to revive a depleted fish population but to save an endangered fishing community as well.
Cod were once so plentiful in New England waters that people used to say you could almost walk across their backs. Cod fueled a huge fishing industry. But now they're scarce, mostly from overfishing.
A team of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston made news earlier this month when they published research in the journal Biomaterials describing how they'd created the world's first bioartificial limb in the laboratory.
Or, in other words: scientists have now grown the entire forelimb of a rat in a lab.
Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 10:54 pm
Babies tend to wear their hearts on their tiny little sleeves. They cry because you took away that thing they picked up off the floor and then put in their mouths. They cry because they're tired. Sometimes, they cry just because.
What if farmers, instead of picking up some agricultural chemicals at their local dealer, picked up a load of agricultural microbes instead?
It's something to contemplate, because some big names in the pesticide business — like Bayer and Monsanto — are putting money behind attempts to turn soil microbes into tools that farmers can use to give their crops a boost.
It's a symptom of the soaring interest in the ways microbes affect all of life. In our bodies, they help fight off disease. In the soil, they help deliver nutrients to plants, and perhaps much more.