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Articles related to Agriculture

Browse: Genetic Test Stings Killer Bee Invaders Browse: Lead Contamination Found in Bees and Their Honey
Feature: The Future of Pest Control Lies Within (the Pest)
Gene drives could improve global food security by turning pest biology against itself.
Feature: Herbicides Can Induce Antibiotic Resistance
The overuse of antibiotics has led to a dramatic rise in the number of untreatable infections. To make matters worse, other chemicals like weed-killers can reduce the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics.
Browse: CO2 Rise Threatens Nutrition Browse: Fertilisers Make Plants Weaker
Mouse-ear hawkweed can clone itself through its seeds.
Feature: Sex without Seed
Plant biologists are finding ways to retain hybrid vigour in important crops by generating clonal seed.
Feature: Ruling the Roost
More than four million Australians suffer from food poisoning each year, many due to bacterial contamination of poultry products. Now nanotechnology is being tested as an alternative to antibiotic use in chickens prior to processing.
Browse: Something’s Fishy About Global Fish Catch Reports Browse: Oysters on Terra Firma
Credit: dusanpetkovic1/Adobe
Feature: This Little Piggie Went Wee Wee Wee
Microalgae strains that can survive the extreme conditions in piggery effluent could not only clean up the wastewater but also reduce greenhouse emissions, provide a source of biofuel and even be fed back to the pigs.
Browse: Genes Amp Up Resistance in Weeds
Browse: Mangoes Need Native Flies
Credit: Per Tillmann/Adobe
Feature: The ART of Milk Production
Assisted reproductive technologies play an increasingly important role in the genetic improvement of the high-yielding dairy cow.
Browse: Early Beetle Gets the Dung Browse: Heat Genes Influence Flowering of Foreign Canola
Browse: Crop Vaccination without Side-Effects Browse: Fitbits for Livestock
Browse: Algae Boost Cattle Nutrition
Credit: asbtkb
Feature: Fighting Creepy with Crawly
The Australian sheep industry is crippled by drug-resistant parasitic worms, but the unique chemistries in spider venoms are showing promise as a new class of drenching agent.
Browse: Mite Viruses Behind Bee Colony Collapse Browse: Bees Employed as Flying Doctors
Browse: Hybrid Corn Slows Macular Degeneration
A deep gold breed of corn will offer protection against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in Australia.
Browse: Biocanisters of Toxins
The discovery of the mechanism by which certain bacteria poison insects could prove invaluable for both the fight against pest species and for future medical advances.
Algae could become the world’s biggest cropping industry.
Feature: Solutions to the Global Food Crisis
Julian Cribb continues last month’s review of global food security issues by looking at some of the big-picture solutions that can make the world’s food and energy more secure.
Feature: The Chlorophyll Conundrum
A scientist’s 50-year research journey is finally about to reveal not only that high chlorophyll levels don’t improve wheat yields through more efficient photosynthesis, but that the opposite may be true.
An aphid is tethered by a gold wire
Feature: Plant Viruses Threaten Crops as Climate Warms
Climate change will exacerbate the spread of a virus that reduces the yield of infected wheat by 70%.
Adnan Riaz speed breeding wheat varieties.
Feature: Russian Revolution Could Save Aussie Wheat
Ancient wheat varieties that survived the Siege of Leningrad have rare genes that offer resistance to important diseases affecting Australian wheat.
Feature: Does Culling Work?
Culling of pests such as foxes, feral cats and dingoes can have unexpected and completely undesirable effects.
Feature: Back from the Dead
Resurrection plants can survive for years in an air-dry state before growing at full capacity when the rain comes. How do they do it, and can this trait be transferred to improve the tolerance of crops to drought, heat, salinity and infection?
Feature: Malaria Drugs Offer New Herbicide Targets
A relic chloroplast in the malaria parasite opens the prospect of developing a new generation of herbicides from anti-malaria drugs.
Browse: There’s More to Hen Health than Housing Style
A comparison of chicken stress levels has found that other factors are more important than whether they are housed in cages or allowed to roam free.
Browse: Lasers Slash Herbicide Use
Weed identification technology could slash herbicide use in farming, saving money and the environment while reducing concerns about potential health effects.
Browse: Garlic Deters Bloodsuckers
Garlic can protect fish from parasites.
Browse: Calm Ewes Make Woollier Lambs
Cortisol reduction in pregnant sheep leads to significantly woollier lambs, the University of Adelaide has found. However, putting the research to work may require a few more steps.
Browse: Farms to Benefit from Robotics and Pest Surveillance
Browse: Conservation Increases Chocolate Production Browse: Eavesdropping on Bee Hive Invaders’ Chatter
Browse: Fungus Fouls Bee Semen Browse: Agriculture, Not Fuel, Is Behind Rising Methane
Browse: Wine Grapes Gasp for Breath Browse: Epigenetic Mechanism of Crop Immunity Identified
conSCIENCE: It’s Time to Prepare for Peak Phosphorus
A looming global shortage of an important fertiliser necessitates the development of phosphorus-efficient crops, recycling of phosphorus from sewage and even separating it from urine.
conSCIENCE: Closing the High Seas Opens Fishing Opportunities
Closing international waters to fishing would have little or no effect on global catches but make fishing potentially fairer, safer, better-managed and less polluting.
conSCIENCE: Myths about Carbon Storage in Soil
Goals of sequestering carbon in agricultural soil ignore the law of diminishing returns.
conSCIENCE: Timber Certification Can’t See the Wood for the Trees
There are many laws that govern the harvesting and trading of timber yet illegal logging is rife and prosecution rates are low. It’s time for science to modernise timber certification schemes.
conSCIENCE: Kangaroos Can Be an Asset Rather Than a Pest
Kangaroo harvesting is not a commercial option for landholders, resulting in greater animal welfare issues for the kangaroos that are culled on private land.
conSCIENCE: Fighting Food Fraud to Protect Brand Australia
The global fake food trade rivals narcotics in scale. What can the Australian food industry do to safeguard its reputation for producing safe, high-quality food?
conSCIENCE: Seeds of Doubt Remain About Nanotechnology Use in Agriculture
A new meta-analysis has attempted to give a scientific grounding to claims about the risks and benefits of nano-agrochemicals, but knowledge gaps remain.
Directions: Australia Needs Integrated Growth in Agriculture
Strategic investment in technology, science and engineering innovation is required.
Eco Logic: Perversity in the Pasture
Hundreds of the invasive plant species that inflict environmental and economic damage in Australia were originally developed and distributed as pasture species, yet we don’t seem to have learnt from these mistakes.
Expert Opinion: Response to the Draft Murray-Darling plan
The Draft Murray-Darling Basin plan has been released.
Expert Opinion: Gillard announces 3,200 gigalitres back to the Murray
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a plan to return 3,200 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling Basin (an extra 450 billion litres) from 2019. The Gillard Government has pledged $1.7 billion over a decade from 2014.
Expert Opinion: GM Farmer Wins Landmark Court Case in Western Australia
The Western Australian Supreme Court has dismissed an organic farmer’s claims for damages from his neighbour’s genetically-modified canola crop, which caused him to lose organic certification for more than half of his property for almost 3 years.
Expert Opinion: Genetic Sprays Use RNA Interference to Combat Pests
Monsanto is developing sprays to control weeds and insect pests by temporarily altering their genetics through RNA interference as an alternative to developing new GM crops, and could also be used to introduce traits like drought resistance.
Expert Opinion: First Australian Cancer Lawsuit Over Herbicide “Roundup”
A Melbourne gardener has launched legal action in the first Australian case to link cancer with glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup. While glyphosate is considered “probably carcinogenic”, some experts dispute this conclusion.
Lowe Tech: Landcare Evolves, But Beancounters Haven’t
It makes more economic sense to trash the farm for short-term profit than to farm it sustainably.
Lowe Tech: Sustainable Food Production on the Menu
A scientific report has set targets for a healthy diet derived from sustainable food production.
Naked Skeptic: Why Did the Dog Go “Quack”?
People who reject evidence-based medicine also subject their pets to veterinary quackery.
Simon Says: Battle of the Basin
Differences between farmers and scientists are being heightened by a process designed to reconcile them.
Simon Says: Debugging Trade
As our neighbours seek to sell us more fresh produce, biosecurity is becoming a busier battleground for science and politics.
Simon Says: GM Support Going Stale
Australians are increasingly divided in their support for genetically modified crops and foods.
Up Close: Rice futures: Biofortifying food crops for better nutrition
Plant molecular biologist Dr Alex Johnson explains how genetic engineering of rice grain could help to stave off malnutrition in the developing world.
Up Close: Giving off gas: Agriculture's role in greenhouse emissions
Biogeochemist Prof William Horwath explains the impact that modern agriculture has on greenhouse gas emissions from the soil.
Up Close: Going viral: Global food security under threat from crop and livestock diseases
Virologist and infectious diseases expert Prof John Fazakerley details the myriad threats to the global food supply from pathogen infestations in crops and livestock, and how new genetic and surveillance technologies are lending hope to keeping them in check.
Up Close: Genetic find and replace with CRISPR: Technology that will revolutionize medicine and agriculture
Molecular biologist Prof Jacob Corn describes how gene editing is carried out with CRISPR-Cas9. He explains why this technology has the potential of revolutionizing the treatment of diseases such as sickle cell anemia and malaria. Besides human health, CRISPR-Cas9 can also contribute to improving agriculture and, consequently, food security. Jacob also discusses the possible ethical challenges posed by the widespread application of gene editing.
Up Close: Feeding the 9 billion: Inconvenient truths about global food security
Sustainable agriculture expert Prof Tim Reeves discusses the profound changes required in agricultural practice, public policy and consumer behavior if we are to feed earth’s ever-growing human population that is projected to exceed 9 billion in 2050. Business as usual won’t pass muster anymore.
Online Feature: UN forecasts rising reuse of wastewater for agriculture
World lacks data on "massive potential resource", with only 4% of wastewater reused.
Online Feature: Tarantula venom: a new selective, effective edible insecticide
An environmentally-friendly insecticide has been developed from the venom of a native Australian tarantula.
Online Feature: WA's court verdict on GM crops is a dose of common sense
The WA Supreme Court has dismissed an organic farmer’s claims for damages from his neighbour’s genetically-modified canola crop.
Online Feature: Why do some graziers want to retain, not kill, dingoes? Browse: Hybrid Swarm in Global Mega-Pest