Plants

Earthworms release metabolites to counteract harmful plant toxins

Earthworms release metabolites to counteract harmful plant toxins

The mystery behind the earthworm's ability to ingest harmful toxins present in some leaves has been uncovered by the researchers as stated in the Journal Nature Communications. The molecular analysis of the gut fluid of this organism revealed certain active metabolites known as 'drilodefensins' that is known to counteract the toxins.

Earthworms are eco-friendly in a way as they return the carbon content back to the soil by recycling the plant leaves and maintain the natural cycle. They are called "ecosystem engineers" by Dr Dave Spurgeon of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Highly destructive beetle invades three New Jersey counties

Highly destructive beetle invades three New Jersey counties

According to reports, the state's department of agriculture said on Monday that a highly destructive beetle has invaded three New Jersey counties. Officials in Burlington, Somerset, and Mercer counties found the emerald ash borer beetle.

The insect attacks and kills ash trees. It was found in Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Westampton, Ewing and West Windsor In the three counties. According to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDA), the beetle spreads quickly and that municipalities should plan to tackle the problem.

Efforts to Develop Aphids Resilient Wheat Defeated in Field Trials

Efforts to Develop Aphids Resilient Wheat Defeated in Field Trials

In an era where genetically engineered products have swayed the markets by offering novel features, a genetically modified (GM) wheat has failed in the field-scale tests to live up to its promises.

The controversial technology of genetic modification (GM), blamed for contaminating the environment and posing hazard for the food chain, has even more reasons to be criticized as a recent field trial of GM wheat has failed to ward off aphids.

EPA’s Proposal Ushers Contesting Claims of Farmers versus Bees!

EPA’s Proposal Ushers Contesting Claims of Farmers versus Bees!

In a new endeavor by Obama administration which is trying to reverse dramatic declines in bee populations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) steps forward to safeguard these species as it is now proposing to create temporary pesticide-free zones during blooming, on croplands where professional beekeeping is practiced.

May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist asserted that it may not be ideal, but it is the best news for bee restoration in about 120 years!

5 Decades Old Truman’s Agave Plant Blooms For First Time before Its Dies

5 Decades Old Truman’s Agave Plant Blooms For First Time before Its Dies

A huge plant at Truman State University is all set to put on the blockbuster show of its life. The giant plant is sitting at the Truman State greenhouse in Kirksville for roughly five decades.

As per experts, Truman’s agave plant, or Agave Americana, is now entering its flowering stage, reaching out through the greenhouse’s roof.

The Lisa Hooper, associate professor of biology at Truman State and chairperson of the greenhouse committee, said that they had to remove panels from the ceiling before the plant smashes through it.

Roseroot herb can be effective treatment option for depression: study

Roseroot herb can be effective treatment option for depression: study

Rhodiola rosea (roseroot), which has long been used in traditional folk medicine across Europe to enhance work endurance and increase longevity, may also be helpful treatment option for depression/major depressive disorder (MDD), a new study suggests.

A group of researchers led by Assistant Professor Dr. Jun J. Mao, of Family Medicine, Community Health & Epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine of University of Pennsylvania analyzed roseroot herb’s effects on patients with mild to moderate MDD along with sertraline, a commonly prescribed antidepressant therapy.

New Protective Coating may help Develop New Renewable Source of Energy

New Protective Coating may help Develop New Renewable Source of Energy

Researchers have developed an electrically conductive film that can aid devices having the ability to use sunlight and split water into hydrogen fuel.

Study’s co-author Nathan Lewis of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) said, “We have developed a new type of protective coating that enables a key process in the solar-driven production of fuels to be performed with record efficiency, stability and effectiveness”.

USDA approves GM Apple

USDA approves GM Apple

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved America's first genetically-modified apple. As per reports, these apples don’t turn brown after they are cut. Okanagan Specialty Fruits has engineered these apples.

The USDA examined whether the apple trees would become a threat for other plants and agriculture in the United States, before approval.

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Technique to enable Widespread Use of GMOs developed

Technique to enable Widespread Use of GMOs developed

Researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the field of synthetic biology. A year ago, researchers created organisms that use a genetic code different from every other living organism. Now, two teams of scientists have created bacteria that rely on manmade chemical for survival, paving the way for wider use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Scientists develop improved method to produce genetically modified bacteria

Scientists develop improved method to produce genetically modified bacteria

Researchers from Harvard and Yale Universities have developed genetically engineered bacteria whose very survival depends on lab-formulated amino acids.

The altered bacteria are called as ‘genetically recoded organisms”, or GROs. They were described in a pair of studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature. They contain new kind of genetic code that can only thrive when they are fed with synthetic amino acids.

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