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Researchers have developed a type of corn that resists picking up genes from foreign strains, reports NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEWS. The new technique means traditionally-bred corn can be guaranteed not to carry genes from genetically modified corn — good news for wary consumers and farmers trying to sell into GMO-unfriendly markets.

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Corn plants are notoriously promiscuous, swapping genes with neighboring cornfields by way of wind- and insect-borne pollens. But teosinte, a close relative of maize, virtually never picks up genetic traits from corn even when the two are grown close together. It turns out a cluster of genes in teosinte creates a molecular barrier that locks the foreign genes out.

Using traditional breeding techniques, researchers have introduced the barrier-forming gene cluster into corn, creating hybrids that are resistant to contamination. Commercial quantities of seed should be available within three years.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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