Health updates

The following is new information about evolving insect resistance to genetically engineered cotton, and ways to manage arthritis without drugs.

First documented cases of insect resistance to GE cotton

According to a new research report by University of Arizona (UA) entomologists, a pest insect known as the bollworm is the first to evolve resistance in the field to plants that have been engineered to produce an insecticide called Bt. Bt-resistant populations of bollworm were found in more than a dozen crop fields in Mississippi and Arkansas between 2003 and 2006.

“What we’re seeing is evolution in action,” said lead researcher Bruce Tabashnik, professor and head of the UA entomology department, and an expert in insect resistance to insecticides. Bt crops are so named because they have been genetically engineered to produce Bt toxins, which kill insects. The toxins are produced in nature by the widespread bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, hence the abbreviation Bt.

Managing arthritis with diet and exercise

Many people with arthritis automatically reach for pain medication, but it is sometimes unecessary to do so. There are other solutions that work just as well, or even better, for people who suffer from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

A variety of supplements — including bromelain, essential fatty acids and glucosamine — can be beneficial for arthritis. But the best supplement of all is proper food. Certain nutritious foods have yielded health effects that surpass any supplement. Exercises, including activities that engage the full body, are also recommended for individuals with arthritis. This helps joint mobility, prevents loss of lean muscle tissue, maintains strength, reduces pain and stiffness, and mobilizes stiff or contracted joints. Perhaps most importantly, it helps people with arthritis stay independent.


Resource: University of Arizona News and (April 10, 2008).

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 3, June/July 2008.

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