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How plants interact with good microbes in soil

January 14th, 2016 / ISAAA

For years, scientists wondered how legumes recognize nitrogen-fixing bacteria as both friendly and distinct from their own cells, and how the host plant’s specialized proteins find the bacteria. A team of molecular biologists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by Dong Wang has found how a gene in the …

Scientists sequence bread wheat genome

January 14th, 2016 / ISAAA

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) reported that the whole genome assembly of bread wheat, the most widely grown cereal globally, has been completed. The project consisted of producing a whole genome assembly of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring based on Illumina short sequence reads assembled with NRGene’s …

Could genetic engineering be a valued tool against climate change?

January 14th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

As we look to the future of agriculture, one issue should dominate the debate: the world’s climate continues to become warmer. Companies and governments have started working with farmers to take steps to reduce the severity of climate change, including the use of biotechnology and genetic modifications. Read …

Farmers advised on best practices to improve maize, bean production

January 13th, 2016 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssali reports: “While Uganda is endowed with good soils and a favourable climate, agricultural production is far below potential and the produce often fails to meet quality standards. Coffee, maize and beans are some of the food and cash crops produced but their marketability has proved to …

Mark Lynas: Yes to GMOs, mandatory labeling

January 13th, 2016 / Farm Futures, US

Mark Lynas used to through mud, clandestinely seeking to destroy European GMO crops. “As a scientist, you must have data to back up what you’re saying,” Lynas said. “And I realized I wasn’t holding myself to the same scientific standards on GMOs as I applied to my research on climate …

To feed and sustain the world, we need common ground

January 13th, 2016 / Huffington Post, UK

We know we need to grow more food. We know we can’t keep converting our forests and grasslands to create more farm land, because if we do so it is at the long term environmental peril of the earth. We know we need to reduce food waste, in our farming …

What you need to know about GM (2)

January 13th, 2016 / Daily Trust, Nigeria

Part 2 of a great piece on the broad consensus that the environmental effects of genetically modified plants should be evaluated using science-based assessment procedures, considering each crop individually in comparison to its conventional counterparts.
Read …

Can GM help quench crops’ thirst?

January 13th, 2016 / Ensla, US

The application of GM technology to boosting drought resistance could be an important addition to the toolkit humans can use to adapt to climate change, which is expected to cause longer and more frequent droughts in many of the world’s important food-growing regions. Read …

GM food is essential to address malnourishment

January 11th, 2016 / The Hindu, India

Genetically modified food is not only safe, but also necessary to address issues of malnourishment, particularly in developing countries, said Nobel laureate and molecular biologist Sir Richard John Roberts. “We could do wonders to our food supply with GMOs,” Sir Roberts said, before adding that the campaign against genetically engineered …

Africa takes fresh look at GMO crops

January 11th, 2016 / Reuters

A scorching drought in Southern Africa that led to widespread crop failure could nudge African nations to finally embrace genetically modified (GM) crops to improve harvests and reduce grain imports. The drought, which extends to South Africa, the continent’s biggest maize producer, has been exacerbated by an El Nino weather …