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Getting a scientific message across means taking human nature into account

January 12th, 2017 /

Scientists and the media need to communicate more science and communicate it better. Good communication ensures that scientific progress benefits society, bolsters democracy, weakens the potency of fake news and misinformation and fulfills researchers’ responsibility to engage with the public. See …

Soil bacteria that could improve seeds, roots and antibiotic treatments

January 12th, 2017 /

“This discovery may not only lead to the creation of a protective coating for roots and seeds to prevent disease, but it may also provide exciting new strategies for improving the effectiveness of antibiotic treatments,” explains Marie Elliot of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research. See …

Video: The near death and rescue of the Hawaiian papaya

January 11th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The tiny anti-GMO movement in Hawaii grew into a sizable force in 2013-14, thanks largely to funding and directional support from organizations on the US mainland. As the movement expanded and sought to destroy the GM seed crops that comprise the most valuable sector of Hawaii agriculture, it deeply divided …

Gene-silencing spray lets us modify plants without changing DNA

January 11th, 2017 / New Scientist, UK

Don’t like the look of those roses in your garden? One day you might be able to buy a spray that changes the colour of their flowers by silencing certain genes.
Farmers may use similar gene-silencing sprays to boost yields, make their crops more nutritious, protect them from droughts and trigger …

Promote alliances in cassava R&D to aid food security

January 10th, 2017 /, UK

Strengthening collaborations among institutions and small-scale cassava farmers could help Central Africa reduce hunger and foster nutrition security, experts say.
Research scientists from academic institutions and policymakers say that collaborations in research and development would promote innovation to address the challenges of nutrition insecurity such as stunting in children. See …

The promise of GMOs: mycotoxins

January 10th, 2017 / GMO Building Blocks

Do GMOs live up to the promises of the biotech industry? In the case of reducing dangerous mycotoxins, there is data to back up industry claims.
Producing foods free of toxins such as mycotoxins – promise met.
See …

Operation Wealth Creation must involve science

January 10th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michal Ssali reports: Farmers across the country should salute the female Members of Parliament who visited the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) Namulonge as reported in the Crop Biotech Update (published December 21, 2016).
Under their umbrella body, Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), they went to Namulonge mainly …

Food security is West and North Africa’s urgent priority

January 9th, 2017 / The National, UAE

In the field of future studies, the “black elephant” stands tall. A cross between the two idioms “the elephant in the room” and “a black swan”, it is an issue policymakers see but do not adequately address. Within policymaking circles in West Asia and North Africa (WANA), climate change, air …

Invest in training, African leaders told

January 9th, 2017 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Researchers have called on African governments to support vocational training in agriculture, noting the skills are crucial for smallholder farmers.
The researchers from more than 12 African countries, and India and Germany, were meeting at a recent conference on agricultural innovation in Nairobi organised by German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and …

Should industry fund research?

January 9th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

A recent article by Danny Hakim on the so-called “agrochemical academic complex” includes a quote:
If you are funded by industry, people are suspicious of your research. If you are not funded by industry, you’re accused of being a tree-hugging greenie activist. There is no scientist who comes out of this …