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Light Drinking During Pregnancy: What Recent Studies Do — and Do Not — Tell Us

The media has, in general, done a poor job of reporting on studies regarding alcohol intake during pregnancy. When the media over-interprets some studies it sends an unwarranted message that "drinking during pregnancy might be beneficial." When the media over-interprets other studies it sends an unwarranted bit of hyperbole - some might say fear-mongering - that can lead pregnant women to consider abortion. More research can only help our understanding. No amount of research is likely to ever discover a "safe threshold", and therefore women looking for a green light to drink during pregnancy will not - and should not - receive one from the medical community.
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Resveratrol Redux: The Bad and the Good

This past week, Dr. Dipak Das, tenured research faculty at the University of Connecticut, was found guilty of 145 counts of research misconduct by an internal institutional review board. Das’s research findings had strongly supported the idea that resveratrol found in wine is capable of conveying health benefits to wine drinkers. It’s worth noting that even though Das was very prolific—that is, his lab turned out more than the average number of papers—Das didn’t publish in high-profile journals, whether because his work was rejected by the top-tier or because he chose to submit manuscripts only to less competitive publications. For more detail on Das’s scientific misconduct, see Tom Mansell’s piece published on Palate Press last week.
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Will Grapegrowers and Consumers Accept GMO Wines?

Would you drink fluorescent green wine? Most molecular biologists-in-training experience their first taste of genetic engineering by transferring a jellyfish gene into (harmless) Escherichia coli, making the bacteria glow green under UV light. One slow day this past winter, my lab-mates and I contemplated the ramifications of transferring that same gene into Vitis vinifera. Fluorescent green wine? Fluorescent green wine! Oh, wait a minute. Do we seriously want such a thing? And has someone already done it?