4. Hyper-Producing Seeds
Scientists are working to manipulate DNA to create hyper-producing seeds, specifically plum tomato seeds that increase the yield by half. Zachary Lippman and his team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, produced a strain of hyper-productive tomato seeds by altering the command gene that tells plants when and how many flowers to generate, according to the New York Times. He’s also thinking about the modification in melons and soybeans.
Christine over at TreeHugger wrote that Canada has approved limited production of animals dubbed “enviropigs™,” pigs that are modified to produce 65 percent less phosphorous in their poop and urine. Pig farms are notorious for producing a world of waste, three times more excrement than human beings do. Lloyd wrote about a Rolling Stone article entitled Pork’s Dirty Little Secret which reported that an estimated 500,000 pigs at a subsidiary of pork giant Smithfield generate more fecal matter each year than the 1.5 million inhabitants of Manhattan. The stream of waste is loaded with phosphorus which causes the growth of excessive algae in lakes and streams which in turn, sucks the oxygen out of water and kills off all life. But even still, scientifically altering a pig so that it’s less polluting seems counterintuitive to me.
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