Tuesday, May 22, 2018

‘Designer crops’ without the GMO label


Editor's note

Plant geneticist Yi Li from the University of Connecticut has developed a new method for creating crops with desirable traits – all without adding foreign genes that would make them considered GMO. Li is using the technique, cited by academic journal editors as a breakthrough that “could help change the world,” to produce citrus crops that are resistant to the greening disease and “low mowing frequency” lawn grass.

While few American workers still use punch cards to record their comings and goings, most are still paid by the hour, which means employers must tally them up before pay day. The timekeeping software commonly used to do this, however, includes features like “rounding” and “automatic break deductions” that make wage theft easier than ever, says Elizabeth Tippett, a law professor at the University of Oregon.

Mass incarceration is a hot-button issue in the news today. The roots of the problem go all the way back to end of the Civil War, when authorities sought control over the newly freed slaves. A new project combines digitized convict records with other federal databases to tell the stories of hundreds of African-American prisoners in the late 1800s.

Bijal Trivedi

Science and Technology Editor

Top stories

The lighter citrus plants have been edited using CRISPR to alter the phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene which gives them a white color. Yi Li

These CRISPR-modified crops don't count as GMOs

Yi Li, University of Connecticut

GMO crops have been rejected in many countries where food shortages are dire. Now, a scientist at the University of Connecticut has figured out how to create better crops with DNA editing.

Labor laws are often based on how we worked decades ago. AP Photo/Richard Sheinwald

Cheating workers out of wages is easier than ever

Elizabeth C. Tippett, University of Oregon

Hundreds of court cases show that companies are using features of timekeeping software to shortchange workers, a few minutes at a time.

A Georgia penitentiary in 1911. Library of Congress

Prison records from 1800s Georgia show mass incarceration's racially charged beginnings

Barry Godfrey, University of Liverpool; Steven Soper, University of Georgia

Digitized state records help to tell the stories of African-American prisoners in the 19th and 20th century.

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