Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Agriculture

Journal Club: Wheat’s molecular response to full sun exposure could suggest ways to increase yield

A recent study points to novel ways of improving crop yields and food production by elucidating how long it takes for wheat to return to full photosynthesis when making the transition from shade to sun exposure. The Green Revolution in … Continue reading

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Journal Club: In some cases, water management practices exacerbated California drought, according to model

Many of California’s reservoirs are now fuller than they’ve been in years thanks to an extraordinarily wet winter. Yet drought conditions are likely to return based on historical cycles, even without accounting for climate change. And California’s depleted groundwater is … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Ancient pottery harbors 5,000-year-old beer recipe

Fermented beverages have long been a part of social and religious rituals. Now, researchers have identified a beer-making toolkit at an archaeological site in northern China with a 5,000-year-old recipe for beer. Ancient pottery vessels, dating to 3400-2900 BC, contained … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Ancient Chinese may have cultivated grass seeds 30,000 years ago

Typically, archaeological research into the origins of agriculture has focused on western Asia, in areas such as the Fertile Crescent (the present-day Middle East). Now scientists report that intentional collection of grass seeds may be traced back about 30,000 years … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Maya altered their environment significantly, for better or worse

The ancient Maya once had a civilization in the Americas that stretched over an area the size of Texas. Now scientists detail a number of key ways the Maya left behind a lasting impact on the environment during the so-called … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Cultivated sweet potatoes were genetically modified — naturally 

The first genetically modified foods were not human creations. Scientists have now found that sweet potatoes all over the world naturally contain bacterial genes that the microbes introduced. Such transgenes may have provided attractive traits for domestication, researchers added. The … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Genetic detective work suggests a crucial role for Maya in papaya domestication

Papaya is a multimillion-dollar crop with a complicated sex life. Now plant geneticist Ray Ming at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his colleagues find that hermaphrodite papayas, the version most useful to farmers, most likely arose due to … Continue reading

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