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U.S.: 'Cannabis Damages DNA' Claims Debunked By Leading Researcher


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

When a study was released last week claiming that marijuana use damages DNA, and that damage could be passed to one's children, of course it made headlines around the world. For many of us who have been acquainted with cannabis for a long time, the study sounded like nonsense, and now one of the field's leading researchers is calling "reefer madness" on the flawed study from Australia.

While the study from the University of Western Australia claims that smoking pot will give your kids cancer, cannabis has been shown in cell, animal, and limited human trials to prevent, halt, or kill cancer, researchers note, reports David Downs at East Bay Express. The study, released last week by Associate Professor Stuart Reece and Professor Gary Hulse at UWA, had the lengthy, scientific-sounding title, “Chromothripsis and epigenomics complete causality criteria for cannabis- and addiction-connected carcinogenicity, congenital toxicity and heritable genotoxicity,” and was published in the July 2016 issue of the journal Mutation Research.

U.S.: Scientists Fear Legalization Could Lead To GMO Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A team of researchers launched the Cannabis Evolution Project last year with an important goal: mapping the genetic structure of marijuana, effectively protecting the biodiversity of the plant from corporate interests which might seek to capitalize on legal pot by patenting select strains.

Rumors have swirled for years that corporate agrochemical giant Monsanto had either plans or an active project to genetically modify marijuana in advance of nationwide legalization, reports Kyle Jaeger at attn:. This GMO marijuana would threaten the diversity of cannabis agriculture and put corporate interests in a position to make huge profits once the government gave approval.

Monsanto stoutly denies such speculation, but that hasn't stopped some scientists from taking preemptive action to prevent it from become a reality from any of the corporate behemoths hungrily eyeing the cannabis market.

Cannabis is a crop on par with corn in terms of both multifunctional properties and biological reach, Dr. Mowgli Holmes, cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer at Phylos Bioscience, told a conference in Portland, Oregon, last week. Like corn, marijuana's been around for millennia, having been domesticated by humans at least 10,000 years ago, he said.

U.S.: Steep Hill Releases New Test For Cannabis Market: 'Sexing Made Simple'


Steep Hill, which specializes in cannabis testing and analytics in the United States and internationally, on Monday released GenKit, a new testing product to assist the growing cannabis industry. GenKit is a proprietary sexing test kit to quickly determine the sex of cannabis plants.

According to Steep Hill, this testing product allows outdoor seed-based growers to speed up the process by which male plants are identified and culled from the crop. Steep Hill’s GenKit allows sex determination at a very early stage in the plant’s development, and shortens this process from several weeks to several days.

GenKit is an industry breakthrough that allows crops to be grown more intelligently, conserving resources and expanding yield, according to the company.

Steep Hill said GenKit works by analyzing genetic information early in the cannabis growth cycle, enabling the removal of unwanted plants from the garden, lowering plant counts, and saving precious resources and cultivation space.

"This revolutionary test, built in modular format, utilizes DNA based diagnostics to very accurately determine the sex of a specific cannabis plant, all of which is made possible by our new long read sequencer," said Reggie Gaudino, Ph.D., director of Intellectual Property & Genetic Analysis at Steep Hill.

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