Climate change

"Milestone" wheat gene map could help food security and allergies

Wheat pretzel twisted with genetic code running down the middle twist
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Scientists announced today they have mapped out more than 94% of the genome of Chinese Spring bread wheat — adding that by manipulating its genetic code, people could eventually improve global food security and possibly alleviate some immune disorders like celiac disease or wheat allergies.

Why it matters: According to the new research, by 2050, the world is expected to have around 9.8 billion people (up from 7.6 billion today). As the staple of more than a third of all people, this means wheat productivity must increase by 1.6% each year — but rather than farming more scarce land, the researchers hope wheat genes can be manipulated to enhance nutrition, improve sustainability and production, and lessen immune reactions.

Report: Trump's version of Obama climate rule coming next week

The EPA Logo
The EPA logo. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency will propose a replacement regulation as soon as next week for President Obama's signature climate-change rule, reports Timothy Gardner of Reuters.

Why it matters: The rule's original goal was to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants 32% by 2030 based on 2005 emission levels, and was the cornerstone of Obama's pledge in the Paris climate deal. President Trump's replacement has been anticipated for many months and is said to be less stringent and will grant states the ability to write their own individual regulations.