Orange you ready for a tall glass of GMOs?


It’s rare that us lowly eaters experience any personal gain from genetically modified food. But over the weekend The New York Times published a long piece by Amy Harmon that made the benefits of genetically modified oranges explicit.

That benefit? Having any oranges at all. An insect-spread disease, which turns oranges green and sour, is spreading throughout the world. Harmon quotes one scientist as saying:

People are either going to drink transgenic orange juice or they’re going to drink apple juice.

That may be a bit of an overstatement: Orange groves are succumbing fast, but growers are fighting back.

Growers in Florida did not like to talk about it, but the industry’s tripling of pesticide applications to kill the bacteria-carrying psyllid was, while within legal limits, becoming expensive and worrisome. One widely used pesticide had stopped working as the psyllid evolved resistance, and Florida’s citrus growers’ association was petitioning one…

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Guys. It finally happened.

The longest running experiment of all time, The Pitch Drop, started in 1944 at Trinity College (Dublin), was finally witnessed in action.

The pitch dropped. And a camera caught it.

Tar pitch, a viscous, carboniferous substance, can be smashed with a hammer but if left alone over time will flow like a liquid. For sixty nine years, a wad of pitch as been dripping (at least once a decade) from a funnel, in a closet, in Dublin, Ireland. Last Thursday, the split-second drop was finally witnessed by technology and everyone who was watching the in-lab webcam.

Read about this glorious moment in science history at The Atlantic Magainze!