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CRISPR-edited pigs could blunt swine flu epidemic threatening China’s food supply

December 5th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Inside a fortresslike megafarm on the outskirts of Beijing, dozens of pink and black pigs forage and snooze, unfazed by the chilly spring air. These experimentally bred hogs are fortified with a gene for regulating heat, buffering them against northern China’s hypothermia-inducing winters.

The gene that researcher Jianguo Zhao inserted into …

PODCAST: Wild plants help protect key food crops from climate change, disease

December 5th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Call it a tale of science and derring-do. An international team of researchers has spent six years fanning across the globe, gathering thousands of samples of wild relatives of crops. Their goal: to preserve genetic diversity that could help key crops survive in the face of climate change. At times, …

GMOs have a place in African agriculture

December 4th, 2019 / GhanaWeb

The founding director of West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) at the University of Ghana, has called on African governments to open the doors for the cultivation and use of genetically modified crops to address the food and nutrition insecurity challenges on the continent.

Professor Eric Danquah said the challenges …

GM potato trials point to blight resistant crops of the future

December 4th, 2019 / TSL

A genetically modified potato with improved tuber quality and resistance to the devastating disease late blight has progressed successfully through the latest stage of trials.

The field trials follow successful lab experiments to modify Maris Piper potatoes with late blight resistance genes from wild relatives of potato called Solanum americanum and Solanum venturii.

To improve …

Smart irrigation controllers to see rapid growth in coming years

December 4th, 2019 / African Farming, UK

Smart irrigation has been benefitted with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), thus pushing the growth of smart irrigation controllers market at a global level, according to Persistence Market Researc.

In addition, apart from sprinkling management and management of watering schedules, several players are integrating various functionalities to make smart …

Nile water monitoring project launched

December 3rd, 2019 / Sunrise, Uganda

A US$5.5m (Approximately UGX20bn) project that will monitor water levels and flows in lakes and rivers across nine member countries of the Nile Basin has been launched in Kenya. It will be implemented and coordinated by the Nile Basin Secretariat based in Entebbe, Uganda. Experts from different institutions have hailed …

Plants and fungi together could slow climate change

December 3rd, 2019 / IIASA

A new global assessment shows that human impacts have greatly reduced plant-fungus symbioses, which play a key role in sequestering carbon in soils. Restoring these ecosystems could be one strategy to slow climate change.

Human-induced transformations of Earth’s ecosystems have strongly affected distribution patterns of plant-fungus symbioses known as mycorrhiza. These …

Turn your anger at science denial into political action

December 3rd, 2019 / New Scientist, UK

Rejection of science is rampant, but scientists can do better at countering doubt and there are grounds for optimism every day, says Naomi Oreskes, author of Why Trust Science?

A historian of science at Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes is best known for exposing the tactics of science deniers. Her first book Merchants …

COP25: ‘Signals of hope’ multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN chief Guterres

December 2nd, 2019 / UN News

“My message here today is one of hope not of despair” said UN chief António Guterres addressing journalists at a press conference in the Spanish capital on Sunday, after revealing the key takeaways from the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Climate report, due to be published during COP25. 

“The last five years have been the …

Microloans make farming profitable for Kenyan smallholders

December 2nd, 2019 / SciDev.net

Farmers in Kenya report increased yields after signing up to microloan scheme.Groups such as One Acre Fund and myAgro give smallholders access to finance and farming inputs.More investment is essential to help small-scale farmers reach their potential. Read more …