Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 7:29 pm
Count us among those who just can't get enough chili pepper news.
These spicy fruits are beloved around the world for their ability to sex up nearly any cuisine. They're the world's most widely grown spice crop, so it's hard to imagine that their reach was once limited to the early farmers in what is now eastern Mexico.
Eighteen years ago, scientists in Scotland took the nuclear DNA from the cell of an adult sheep and put it into another sheep's egg cell that had been emptied of its own nucleus. The resulting egg was implanted in the womb of a third sheep, and the result was Dolly, the first clone of a mammal.
Dolly's birth set off a huge outpouring of ethical concern â€” along with hope that the same techniques, applied to human cells, could be used to treat myriad diseases.
Shara Yurkiewicz is a med student. She's doing rounds now, moving from department to department. Much of what she sees, she's seeing for the first time. Not yet a doctor, there are moments, many moments when she has the eyes of a patient. She gets scared. She feels helpless. She's too involved. She's at that place in her training where everything is so sharp, so new, she feels the full, fresh stab of it, and sometimes, very privately, she bleeds.
A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They're releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new "open source pledge" that's intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.
It's inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone's proprietary product.
Recent storms in California haven't been enough to save the state from a serious drought. And now, the rainy season is winding down. Scientists are trying to understand why some storms unload lots of rain and snow in California and others don't. As Lauren Sommer reports from member station KQED in San Francisco, there could be a link to dust storms thousands of miles away.
LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: The sky over the Pacific Ocean is looking pretty ominous - big dark gray clouds in the distance.
In a conflict that pits animal welfare against religious rights, Denmark has ruled that all animals must be stunned before being killed, a move that effectively bans ritual slaughter in its purest form according to Muslim and Jewish tradition.
Before you ask...yes, this is the same country that recently made news for killing a giraffe at the zoo and dissecting it in public.
Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:28 pm
From plant factories fueled by the magenta glow of blue and red LED lights, to the 30-foot tall Ferris wheel for plants in Singapore, we've shown you the design possibilities for growing vegetables up instead of out.
In the past two weeks, I explored here some of the consequences of the remarkable observation by the scientists of the BICEP2 experiment in the South Pole. The data, potentially revolutionary, points to a period of extremely fast cosmic expansion at the very beginning of time, a signal imprinted in the cosmos for 13.8 billion years.