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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Anti-GM Attacks Destroy German Test Plots
15 July 2011 1:39 pm
BERLIN—Vandals in Germany have destroyed two experimental sites growing genetically modified (GM) wheat and potatoes. On the night of 9 July, half a dozen masked attackers overpowered the security guard watching over test fields in Gross Lüsewitz, near Rostock. They then destroyed a field of wheat resistant to fungal diseases and a field of potatoes engineered to produce cyanophycin, an amino acid polymer that could potentially be used to make plastics. The fields were part of a trial funded by the German government to develop a more-efficient testing system for gm crops. Two nights later, a dozen attackers threatened guards with pepper spray and bats at a demonstration garden in Üplingen, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. They destroyed a field of potatoes and trampled wheat and maize. Police estimate the damages from the attacks at more than €250,000. No suspects have been arrested.
Kerstin Schmidt, head of Biovativ, the company that owns the test plots in Gross Lüsewitz, told German media that the company would continue its work. Politicians across the political spectrum have condemned the attacks, but the local Green party in Rostock went ahead with a long-planned anti-GM demonstration at the Gross Lüsewitz test site on Monday. A speaker for the local party said she could "understand but not support" the attacks.
Activists also destroyed a GM wheat plot in Australia yesterday. Meanwhile, researchers at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, U.K., said today that they want to "engage" with protestors who plan to hold a rally at their lab on 23 July. Activists want to dump a trailer load of non-GM potatoes at the lab to protest the development of a blight-resistant potato; the scientists say they want a meaningful debate. "We welcome the opportunity to discuss our work with people who are interested, for whatever reason, in what we are doing," the leader of the potato project, Jonathan Jones, said in a statement today.