June 8, 2017 9:00 am
The world’s first commercial plant for capturing carbon dioxide directly from the air opened yesterday, refueling a debate about whether the technology can truly play a significant role in removing greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
May 25, 2017 9:00 am
From their giant fruits to compact plant size, today’s tomatoes have been sculpted by thousands of years of breeding. But mutations linked to prized traits — including one that made them easier to harvest — yield an undesirable plant when combined, geneticists have found. It is a rare example of a gene harnessed during domestication that later hampered crop improvement efforts, says geneticist Zachary Lippman of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. After identifying the mutations, he and his colleagues used CRISPR gene editing to engineer more productive plants — a strategy that plant breeders are eager to adopt.
May 23, 2017 9:00 am
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that U.S. flower distributors have begun to destroy countless petunia plants after federal scientists confirmed that they were genetically engineered (GE) to produce vivid orange, red, and purple blooms. The agency says the flowers pose no risk to the environment or to human health, but GE organisms need special permits to be sold in the United States.
May 16, 2017 9:00 am
In our so-called post-truth era, when the White House itself is brazenly peddling alternative facts as official news, it is more important than ever for the media to speak truth to power. When The New York Times launched its post-election ad campaign on “The Pursuit of Truth”—featuring a 30 second TV spot aired during the Academy Awards, along with print and billboard ads—it positioned the Pulitzer-laden paper on the side of courageous and responsible journalism. Weeks after advertising itself as the guardian of truth, however, TheTimes hired a conservative climate skeptic by the name of Bret Stephens as its newest Op-Ed columnist.
May 11, 2017 9:00 am
Tourists who visit national parks and other protected areas in the United States hope to gain a respite from the sights and sounds of their everyday lives. But evading human soundscapes isn’t easy. Many protected areas are surprisingly noisy, a new study finds, and that can interfere with more than just the peace and quiet visitors seek.
April 5, 2017 9:00 am
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new, more detailed plan for laying off 25 percent of its employees and scrapping 56 programs including pesticide safety, water runoff control, and environmental cooperation with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
March 22, 2017 9:00 am
The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto.
March 9, 2017 9:00 am
China’s central government is laying plans to curb pollution, increase food and drug safety, and boost scientific research—though supporting details are scarce.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang outlined these and other major goals during the opening session of the National People’s Congress on Sunday. The congress discussions are not likely to result in new legislation specific to science but speeches by top leaders set the tone for policy over the coming year.
“Having reached the current stage of development, China can now advance only through reform and innovation,” Li said in support of his call to boost research efforts. China has “the largest pool of scientists, engineers, and professionals in the world, and their potential for innovation is truly tremendous.”