This week The Atlantic, accelerating away from its old persona as a sharp but thoughtful monthly magazine with an East Coast Ivy League ethos and into the hurry-up-and-shock-me world of on line journalism, posted a story sure to foment loud arguments. Ari LeVaux, best known as a food columnist, dives spatchel-first into nutrition science and genomics under the provocative hed, The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods. This exploration of the benefits and, more important, non-benefits of sneaking a few extra genes into familiar farm products is a stunner. Its pivot point is a recent paper from researchers at Nanjing University in China. They reported discovery of distinctive rice micro-RNAs, small regulatory proteins akin to but different in function from messenger RNA, in the blood and tissues of people who had eaten rice. That the rice’s micro-RNAs could reach the gut and make their way more or less intact to other organs is pretty interesting.