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Farm animals are the next big antibiotic resistance threat

September 20th, 2019 / Wired, US

Across the world, the antibiotics that farmers use to prevent illness in their animals are losing effectiveness as bacteria develop antibiotic resistance. According to new research, it’s a huge problem, one that’s been masked by a longstanding focus on the risk that resistant bacteria pose to humans instead.

This trend in the animal world carries a double …

Tomato jumping genes could help speed-breed drought resistant crops

September 19th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

Researchers from the University of Cambridge’s Sainsbury Laboratory (SLCU) and Department of Plant Sciences have discovered that drought stress can trigger the activity of a family of jumping genes (Rider retrotransposons) previously known to contribute to fruit shape and color in tomatoes. Their research revealed that the Rider family is also present and …

Wild wheat genetics offer climate hope for food crops

September 19th, 2019 / BBC, UK

Wild relatives of food crops, such as wheat, host an abundant array of genetic material to help the plants cope with a changing climate.

In a study over 28 years showed that populations of wild wheat accumulated “beneficial mutations” such as a tolerance to temperature increases.

Researchers say the results improve our …

Inducible CRISPR-Cas9 improves the precision of genome editing in rice

September 19th, 2019 / ISAAA, US

DNA delivery into tissue cultures is a simple method for expressing CRISPR-Cas9 and creating genome edits in the plants. This approach, however, allows strong doses of CRISPR-Cas9 to persist far beyond the incidence of targeting i.e. until genetic segregation of the Cas9 gene.

Although precision is an inherent quality of CRISPR-Cas9, the strong persistent doses in numerous cells throughout the …

World must transform food production or face unrest, scientists warn

September 18th, 2019 / The East African, Kenya

The world must diversify its food production and consumption, or face damaging supply disruptions that could lead to suffering and social unrest, scientists warned on Monday.

A new global study found the health and environmental benefits of transforming the way we farm would outweigh heavily the cost of doing so, with …

Africa: vegetarian diets not always the most climate-friendly, researchers say

September 18th, 2019 / AllAfrica.com

Raising dairy cows for milk, butter and cheese requires large amounts of energy, land and chemical inputs, emitting greenhouse gases

It may be possible to help tackle climate change while still munching on the occasional bacon sandwich or slurping a few oysters, a new study suggested on Tuesday.

Scientists found that diets …

Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda utilize Kenya’s biotech research, while nation still bans GMOs

September 18th, 2019 / Business Daily Africa

Countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda are increasingly using Kenya’s biotechnology research findings to guide their food security plans as strict laws discourage GMO crops at home.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Kalro) scientists said Kenya has become a testing ground for technologies that end up benefiting other nations.

They …

Act now and avert a climate crisis

September 17th, 2019 / Nature, UK

Nature joins more than 250 media outlets in Covering Climate Now, a unique collaboration to focus attention on the need for urgent action.

There isn’t much that focuses the mind like a deadline. Just ask any journalist, or indeed anyone working for a government. The story of politicians and climate change is …

New incubation centres to support agric entrepreneurs design bankable projects

September 17th, 2019 / New Times, Rwanda

At least 20 youthful agribusiness entrepreneurs will be coached on designing bankable projects in incubation center to be set up at every district across the country.

With 30 districts, it means at least 600 young entrepreneurs in agribusiness will be mentored and coached to design the projects in a period of …

Kenya launches Pan African research initiative to boost climate smart farming

September 17th, 2019 / China.org.cn

Kenya has launched a Pan African initiative to train the next generation of scientists who will support ongoing efforts to boost climate resilient farming in the world’s second-largest continent.

Kenya-based Africa Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) in partnership with foundations inaugurated the first cohort of African scientists who will …