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Scientists from the University of Minnesota demonstrated yields of corn and soybeans were only minimally reduced when organic production practices were utilized as compared with conventional production practices. After factoring in production costs, net returns between the two production strategies were equivalent.
The world's biggest fungus, discovered in Oregon's Blue Mountains in 2001, is challenging traditional notions of what constitutes an individual. The underground fungus--estimated to be between 2000 and 8500 years old--is also deepening our understanding of the ecosystem, with possible implications for the management of Canadian forests, according to a paper by the discoverers. The clone of Armillaria ostoyae--the tree-killing fungus that causes Armillaria root disease--covers an area of 9.65 square kilometres, about the size of 6000 hockey rinks or 1600 football fields.
Though not strictly a science story, the Wall Street Journal has a devastating profile this morning of Sam Waksal, founder of ImClone. It's a warning not only for directors of technology-based companies, but for investors and the media, who can be charmed by one person with a winning personality and a compelling story (in this case a promising cancer-fighting molecule). Terrific digging by reporter Geeta Anand reveals a string of research jobs from which Waksal was ousted for misleading and sometimes falsified results. Do yourself a favor and read this one through to the end. Suddenly Martha Stewart's alleged insider trading of ImClone stock seems like the least of anyone's worries about Waksal.