August 13th, 2009
From Green Right Now Reports
Birds, bees and frogs. We’ve known for a long time that they’re affected by pesticides and chemical pollution.
In the last few years, many scientists have come to see frogs, whose populations are in steep decline, as one of the most vulnerable; humankind’s canary in the coal mine.
Now researchers at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale are illuminating why frogs are in such deep trouble. They’ve found that just a few grains of a pesticide ingredient commonly used in California agriculture can make mountain streams lethal to frogs.
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October 16th, 2008
By Barbara Kessler
Apparently conventional farming techniques aren’t too grape for vineyard keepers in the Midwest. Their tender fruit withers when it comes into contact with a commonly used herbicide, called 2, 4-D that is spread on corn and other field crops to control broadleaf weeds.
So researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new grape that can stand up to 2, 4-D (or R2D2 if you’re playing Star Wars).
This new improved grape – imperially named “Improved Chancellor” — does not die when confronted with 2, 4-D (the D stands for Dicholorophenoxyacetic) because it has been genetically altered with an added bacterium that breaks down the herbicide, according to an Environmental News Service release.
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