Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Hello to all my regular readers! Since you don't exist, you probably won't have noticed that I haven't posted here for quite some time. This is because I decided that I was going to 'take December off'. I realise now that this was a very poor decision because it meant that I started the new year with a list of articles that I wanted to read so long that it has taken me until mid-January to get through them (I use google reader).

The good news is that I am now back and have a big old stack of links for you. A few of them are things that I haven't actually read yet myself but since they look interesting and I don't want to leave the blog dormant for even longer while I get round to reading them, I have decided to just post them anyway. Enjoy!

  • If you only follow one of these links, follow this one. It is a video of a talk given by the journalist and environmental activist Mark Lynas to the recent Oxford Farming Conference. In the talk, he apologises for the years that he spent campaigning against GM crops, says that he has now 'discovered science' and explains why he is now in favour of GM. Not only it is amazing that this has happened, it is also a really well-delivered talk, in which he explains his reasons very clearly. 
  • A nice video from Kew Gardens about the Millenium Seed Bank Partnership. 
  • 'Redrawing the Tree of Lifeis a fantastic piece by Carl Zimmer about the way in which scientists have been rethinking evolution since the days of Darwin. 
  • Karl from the Biofortified Blog guides us through a recent talk he gave about the benefits and risks of genetically engineered crops.
  • 'GM crops increase biodiversity, study finds'. This is obviously very exciting news, but I think the headline should probably be more like 'one particular type of GM crop has been shown to increase biodiversity in one particular region of China'. If you're wondering how this is possible, the explanation is that this crop (BT cotton) requires less insecticide to protect it, so there is less damage to local insects. For more detail, see my post on BT crops or this 'BT cotton Q&A' document. 

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