The biotechnology industry has shown signs recently of recovering from the doldrums of the past year, which encompassed a wave of consolidations, layoffs, and a critical cash crunch. However, as some indications arise that biotech as a whole is starting to regain investor confidence, industry analysts say that the agricultural biotech sector seems to be lagging.

Ag biotech observers, including scientists in both business and academia, agree that the industry's growth has been hampered by regulatory agencies that were slow to approve new products, by investor fears that the public would reject genetically engineered food, and by an overselling of its prospects during its early years. Most of these hurdles have been overcome, yet ag biotech has failed to return to Wall Street's good graces, a fact that mightily frustrates industry officials. Nevertheless, company executives expect ag biotech -- and job prospects for scientists in the industry -- to rebound...

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