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Dhanshakti Pearl Millet

Miracle Crop: India’s Quest to End World Hunger

Over one third of humanity is undernourished. Now a group of scientists are experimenting with specially-bred crops, and hoping to launch a new Green Revolution — but controversy is brewing. By Philip Bethge It may not make his family wealthy, but Devran Mankar is still grateful for the pearl millet variety called Dhanshakti (meaning “prosperity and strength”) he […]

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Reeling In the Trawlers: EU Takes On Overfishing

Fish stocks have made surprising comebacks in the North and Baltic seas. But much remains to be done. Beginning in January, new EU laws will impose more sustainable practices with stricter quotas and by-catch rules. By Philip Bethge When the men open the net on the ship’s deck, fat codfish slap into plastic fish baskets. […]

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Vultures lured back to Germany

Vultures are slowly returning to Germany, driven out long ago by an unwelcoming populace. At the behest of conservationists, loosened “carcass regulations” in Europe have made the search for food less daunting — but some still wonder if the birds will be able to survive. By Philip Bethge Griffon vulture number 259 is no longer able […]

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Flipper Fail: Dolphins May be Dumber Than We Think

For decades, it’s been common knowledge that dolphins are among the world’s smartest species. Now some researchers — and a new book — argue the supposed underwater geniuses aren’t so special after all. By Philip Bethge Their social lives are complex, and they can congregate in large groups. Their heart rates increase when they notice […]

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Ben Novak

The Second Cooing: Raising Passenger Pigeons from the Dead

The world has been without passenger pigeons since 1914. Now, scientists want to bring them back. Geneticist Ben Novak has embarked on the project and has begun collecting passenger pigeon DNA from natural history museums. His “de-extinction” efforts are not without critics. By Philip Bethge The eye sockets of the slender pigeon are filled with […]

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