The GMO Conundrum
Oregonians will go to the polls on November 4 to decide whether or not to require prominent labels on food containing ingredients made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The issue of labeling has been around for years, and — déjà vu! — Oregonians have even voted on it before. But the rhetoric has heated up to where its passage has a far better chance this year than it did in 2002.
Genetic engineering has become a valuable scientific tool. It has enabled us to gain tremendous insight into the mechanisms of plant reproduction, disease resistance and other useful traits. However, commercial use of this technology has not lived up to expectations and has created serious hurdles for plant breeders. That in turn hampers genetic progress and innovation.
Big Data Crunch
1.9 billion. That’s the number of results turned up by a Google search on the term “big data.”
Engineers with Soul
Engineers excel at solving problems. They can design systems that provide clean drinking water, generate electricity from sunlight and improve personal health. While the design of these systems demands technical skill, success or failure ultimately resides with the people who use and maintain them and whose lives depend on them — that is, with a social network.
The Economics of Carbon Reduction
To influence policy, research on climate change must incorporate many disciplines and bridge the divide between the natural and social sciences.
UAVs can help manage wildfires, support a search-and-rescue mission, plant trees to avoid wind or heat damage, monitor wildlife, improve irrigation, detect crop-disease outbreaks and gauge environmental health.