Genetically Modified Foods Engineered to Make You Healthier
When Californians head to the polls this November, they will decide if genetically modified foods should be labeled as such. Meanwhile, scientists are engineering foods to make us healthier.
What's the Latest Development?
While the debate continues over the safety of genetically modified foods, scientists have taken steps to engineer animals and produce in ways that benefit human health. In 2006, a team of researchers modified a litter of piglets to make their muscle rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against cancer and heart disease. In 2007, scientists in South Dakota announced they had switched off the gene that codes for mad cow-producing proteins. In 2008, British researchers modified the tomato by adding a pigment found in cranberries which is believed to protect against cancer...
What's the Big Idea?
When Californians go to the polls this November, they will decide whether genetically modified foods should be labeled as such when they are sold in supermarkets. While the European Union has recognized the right of shoppers to make informed decisions about their food by labeling GMOs since 1997, America's FDA has consistently rejected labeling proposals. The debate in the US has largely been provoked by AquaBounty salmon, which are engineered to grow to twice the size, and at twice the rate, of unmodified salmon. The results in California may set a new legal model for activists in other states.
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It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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