Kellogg’s and Mars have joined General Mills and Campbell’s by announcing that they will start to label their products in the U.S. that contain GMOs with the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering”, after the blocking of the new Dark Act in the U.S. Senate.
Kellogg North America President Paul Norman told Agri-Pulse on Monday that barring congressional action on the labeling issue some of the company’s labels would start carrying the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering” as soon as mid-April. The labels will appear nationwide, not just in Vermont, “because a special label for Vermont would be costly for us and our consumers,” Norman said. Continue reading »
Reports said on Tuesday that US chocolate company Mars Inc. is recalling millions of candy bars and other items in 55 countries after plastic was found in one of its products.
The discovery has been reportedly made in Germany where a customer is believed to have found a piece of red plastic in his Snickers bar last month. Continue reading »
– Big Corporations Have An OVERWHELMING Amount Of Power Over Our Food Supply (Economic Collapse, July 14, 2014):
From our fields to our forks, huge corporations have an overwhelming amount of power over our food supply every step of the way. Right now there are more than 313 million people living in the United States, and the job of feeding all of those people is almost entirely in the hands of just a few dozen monolithic companies. If you do not like how our food is produced or you don’t believe that it is healthy enough, it isn’t very hard to figure out who is to blame. These mammoth corporations are not in business to look out for the best interests of the American people. Rather, the purpose of these corporations is to maximize wealth for their shareholders. So the American people end up eating billions of pounds of extremely unhealthy food that is loaded with chemicals and additives each year, and we just keep getting sicker and sicker as a society. But these big corporations are raking in big profits, so they don’t really care. Continue reading »
– Help Wanted: Astronauts Needed for Mars Colony (Wired, Jan 8, 2013):
Mars One, a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands, intends to establish a human settlement on Mars in 2023.
They need astronauts.
Anyone on planet Earth can apply if they meet the basic requirements. But obviously, the job isn’t for just anyone.
– Are Those Spidery Black Things On Mars Dangerous? (Maybe) (NPR, Oct 3, 2012)
– NASA rover Curiosity makes historic Mars landing, beams back photos (Reuters, Aug 6, 2012):
NASA’s Mars science rover Curiosity performed a daredevil descent through pink Martian skies late on Sunday to clinch an historic landing inside an ancient crater, ready to search for signs the Red Planet may once have harbored key ingredients for life.
Mission controllers burst into applause and cheers as they received signals confirming that the car-sized rover had survived a perilous seven-minute descent NASA called the most elaborate and difficult feat in the annals of robotic spaceflight.
Engineers said the tricky landing sequence, combining a giant parachute with a rocket-pack that lowered the rover to the Martian surface on a tether, allowed for zero margin for error.
“I can’t believe this. This is unbelievable,” enthused Allen Chen, the deputy head of the rover’s descent and landing team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles.
– NASA finds new evidence of liquid water on Mars (Reuters, Aug 5, 2011):
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NASA scientists have discovered new evidence that briny water flows on Mars during its warmest months, raising chances that life could exist on the Red Planet, the space agency said on Thursday.
NASA first found signs of water on Mars more than a decade ago, but earlier indications were that any existing water would be frozen and concentrated at the poles.
Recently analyzed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite show dark, finger-like features that extend down some slopes and crater walls on the planet during its late spring through summer, fading in the Martian winter.
“This is the best evidence we have to date of a liquid water occurring today on Mars,” said Philip Christensen, a geophysicist at Arizona State University, Tempe, in a NASA panel announcing the findings in Washington.
Certifying Our Commitment to Sustainability
For nearly 30 years Mars has been diligently pursuing a cocoa sustainability strategy. The company’s goal is to secure responsible cocoa production and the future supply of the crop. Our aim is for cocoa to thrive in harmony with the environment and to the benefit of the communities involved throughout the cocoa supply chain.
Scientists working to create genetically modified chocolate – to make you healthy
FORGET penicillin, space travel and the silicon chip. Science is on the verge of its greatest discovery – chocolate that’s good for you.
DNA experts are working with sweet giants Mars to create genetically modified chocolate that fights heart disease and diabetes and won’t make you fat.
They’ve already been at it for two years. And they claim that in another five, they could unlock the secret of how to make chocolate healthy.
The scientists say the secret lies in the genetic code of the cocoa bean.
The beans contain chemicals called flavonols which lower blood pressure and help keep the heart healthy.
And the scientists believe they can change the DNA of the cocoa tree so it produces beans with far higher levels of flavonols.
With the intention of flooding 70% of the global cocoa supply with genetically modified (GMO) cocoa tree hybrids, a collaboration involving Mars, USDA and IBM is accelerating this process.
With primary funding from US chocolate producer Mars, the partnership includes scientists based at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture and Science as well as researchers working at IBM’s Thomas J Watson Research Center.
The scientists are determined to finalize gene sequencing of the cocoa genome which they say will “benefit” the chocolate industry and cocoa growers in West Africa where 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced, and in other tropical zones.
According to the global head of plant science and research at the confectionery firm, Howard-Yana Shapiro, the sequence is of great importance.
“As plant breeders, we’re always looking after the golden traits: pest and disease resistant, drought tolerance, the ability to adapt to climate change, tree architecture, yield quality, etc,” said Dr Shapiro.
The researchers including ARS based molecular biologist David Kuhn and geneticist Raymond Schnell said that they released the findings of sequencing into the public domain in order to assist scientists to begin applying the findings immediately.
The results have been published on the Cacao Genome Database website.
Humans could be sent one-way to Mars under ambitious plans being investigated by NASA to permanently colonise other planets in space.
Space agency officials confirmed feasability studies were under way to asses whether astronauts could be permanently sent to the red planet, or its moons, to establish human colonies.
The multi-billion pound mission, titled Hundred Years Starship, is being spearheaded by the Ames Research Centre, one of NASA’s main research centres, based in Moffett Field, California.
Officials from the Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are also heavily involved in turning the science fiction idea into a reality.
Early estimates put the cost of such a mission, which has “just started” at more than £7 billion and could be achieved by 2030.
Scientists have been given £600,000 government grant – including £100,000 from NASA – to start research into the idea, according to US reports.
The world’s billionaire’s, including Larry Page, Google’s co-founder, have been asked to help fund the project.
Pete Worden, the Ames director, confirmed the plans to a conference in San Francisco at the weekend.
“You heard it here. We hope to inveigle some billionaires to form a Hundred Year Starship fund,” he told the Long Conversation event at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.
“The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds. Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.
“Within a few years we will see the first true prototype of a spaceship that will take us between worlds.”
Such a space journey would take up to nine months with volunteers embarking on the mission knowing they would never return to earth.
This is because the cost of returning astronauts to earth would make the project prohibitively expensive. Supplies would be sent to make them self-sufficient.
Such a mission would be gruelling for humans with forbidding conditions including sub-zero temperatures and a thin atmosphere.
- 105-day experiment to simulate rocket ride
- Six volunteers will ‘blast off’ on Tuesday
In a car park not so far away … It is a big brother experiment like no other, an experiment which will boldly go where few have gone – or probably wanted to go – before.
Six apparently fearless volunteers are to take part in a unique test by being locked up in what amounts to a series of small steel tins off a parking lot in Moscow for 105 days as scientists simulate a space rocket ride to Mars.
On Tuesday the team will step into a chain of cramped metal capsules, connected by cables and corrugated metal pipes, in a hangar at the back of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems (IMBP) in the Russian capital, swing close the hatch and “blast off”.
The idea is for the 550 cubic-metre “ground exploration complex” (GEC) to recreate as closely as possible the atmosphere of a spacecraft racing through the solar system, bombarded by cosmic radiation. Any return flight to Mars – at least 34 million miles from our planet – would take between 18 months and three years, including landing and exploration.
The volunteers – four Russians, a French airline pilot and a German army engineer – will be kept under constant camera surveillance to record the physical and psychological impact of their time in the isolation chamber.
Pictures beamed back from Mars appear to provide the first photographic evidence of water existing in its liquid state on the planet.
Shots of Nasa’s Mars Phoenix Lander’s leg struts appear to show droplets of water forming and then vanishing as if they have dripped on to the ground.
The find, if confirmed, has important implications for the chances of there being life forms, however small or primitive, on Mars.
Related article: Phoenix Lander sees snow falling on Mars
Professor Nilton Renno, of the University of Michigan, is convinced the photographs show water droplets forming. It had previously been thought that Mars was so cold and the atmospheric pressure so low that water would exist only as ice or vapour.
Professor Renno led analysis that suggested the water droplets may have been prevented from freezing because they had absorbed salty chemicals which act as anti-freeze.
Tests carried out by the Mars Phoenix Lander uncovered the presence of perchlorate salts, probably including magnesium and calcium perchlorate hydrates, which freeze at minus 68C and minus 77C.
Huge plumes of water vapour and ice particles are bursting out from Saturn’s moon Enceladus at supersonic speeds in a way that strongly suggests they come from liquid water down below the icy surface, scientists have said.
The research, published in the journal Nature, offers new evidence that the moon may harbor an underground ocean of water, meaning conditions might exist that could support life, even if only microbial organisms.
‘We think liquid water is necessary for life and there is more evidence that there is liquid water there,’ said lead researcher Candice Hansen of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
‘You also need energy, you need nutrients, you need organics. It looks like the pieces are there. Whether or not there’s actually life, of course, we can’t say.’
Scientists are aware of only three places where liquid water exists near the surface of a planet or other body – Earth, Jupiter’s moon Europa and now Enceladus.
In July Nasa’s Phoenix Mars Lander confirmed the presence of ice on Mars.
A mountain in the eastern Hellas region of Mars
Huge glaciers up to half a mile thick have been discovered close to the equator of Mars and are thought to be the remnants of an ice age on the planet.
The glaciers are thought to have been formed up to 100 million years ago and are the “most dramatic” evidence yet of climate change on Mars.
Hundreds of glaciers have been identified by researchers using ground-penetrating radar that allows them to see through a rocky layer of debris covering the ice.
The biggest of the glaciers are up to 13 miles long and more than 60 miles wide and represent a potential source of water for astronauts on missions to Mars.
In this artist conception, the Phoenix Mars Lander, which launched in August 2007 and the first project in NASA’s Mars Scout missions, landed on Mars on May 25, 2008. (UPI Photo/NASA)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) — The U.S. space agency says its Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds, vaporizing before reaching the planet’s surface.
And the National Aeronautics and Space Administration says that, plus soil test experiments, have proven evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water — both processes that occur on Earth.
“A laser instrument designed to gather knowledge of how the atmosphere and surface interact on Mars detected snow from clouds about 2.5 miles above the spacecraft’s landing site,” NASA said, adding data shows the snow vaporizing before reaching the ground.
“Nothing like this view has ever been seen on Mars,” said Jim Whiteway, of Canada’s York University, the lead scientist for the Canadian-supplied Meteorological Station on Phoenix. “We’ll be looking for signs that the snow may even reach the ground.”
Since landing May 25, Phoenix has also confirmed a hard subsurface layer at its far-northern site contains water-ice. NASA said determining whether that ice ever thaws will help answer whether the environment there has been favorable for life, a key aim of the mission.
Published: Sept. 29, 2008 at 3:40 PM
Canadian laser gadget finds snow in Martian sky
OTTAWA – Trust a Canadian weather instrument to find snow. Even on Mars.
A Canadian university’s laser aboard a NASA Mars lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds about four kilometres above the landing site, and vaporizing before reaching the ground.
The White House has been alerted by NASA about plans to make an announcement soon on major new Phoenix lander discoveries concerning the “potential for life” on Mars, scientists tell Aviation Week & Space Technology.
Sources say the new data do not indicate the discovery of existing or past life on Mars. Rather the data relate to habitability–the “potential” for Mars to support life–at the Phoenix arctic landing site, sources say.
The data are much more complex than results related NASA’s July 31 announcement that Phoenix has confirmed the presence of water ice at the site.
International news media trumpeted the water ice confirmation, which was not a surprise to any of the Phoenix researchers. “They have discovered water on Mars for the third or fourth time,” one senior Mars scientists joked about the hubbub around the water ice announcement.
The other data not discussed openly yet are far more “provocative,” Phoenix officials say.