The Trouble With Rice (The New York Times)

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The New York TimesDartmouth’s Mary Lou Guerinot and other scientists are beginning to see rice, one of the world’s food staples, as one of the “greatest scavengers” of metallic compounds, reports Deborah Blum of The New York Times.

“If the fields are flooded in the traditional paddy method, she has found, the rice handily takes up arsenic. But if the water is reduced in an effort to limit arsenic, the plant instead absorbs cadmium—also a dangerous element,” writes Blum.

“It’s almost either-or, day and night as to whether we see arsenic or cadmium in the rice,” says Guerinot, a professor of biological sciences and the Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor in the Sciences.

Read the full story, published 4/18/14 by The New York Times.