|The very real danger of genetically modified foods|
The Atlantic - 1/9/2012.By Ari LeVaux – Chinese researchers have found small pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to proteins in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood. The type of RNA in question is called microRNA, due to its small size. MicroRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been linked to human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes. The Chinese research provides the first example of ingested plant microRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function.
|Farmland protection at show’s core|
Waterville Morning Sentinel - 1/8/2012.By Mechele Cooper – Augusta: The Maine Farmland Trust on Tuesday will reaffirm its commitment to protect 100,000 acres of farmland by 2014 at the 71st Maine Agricultural Trades Show. The trade show, hosted by the Maine Department of Agriculture Food and Rural Resources, will run Tuesday through Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center.
|Managing garden herbivores: cutworms and aphids|
Bangor Daily News - 1/7/2012.By Reeser Manley – Cutworms, the larval (caterpillar) stage of several species of night-flying moths, are a major herbivore in Marjorie’s Garden each spring, cutting down unprotected young transplants at or below the soil surface and devouring seedlings before they break through the soil. As with all garden herbivores, understanding the life cycle of the cutworm gives clues to effective controls.
|Asian fruit fly has blueberry and cranberry growers on edge|
Bangor Daily News - 1/6/2012.By Tom Walsh – Machias: Those who know bugs term it Drosophila melanogaster – a tiny, spotted-wing Asian fruit fly that landed on the West Coast and has since made its way east to the blueberry barrens and cranberry bogs of Down East Maine.