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When is genetic modification not genetic modification?

August 3rd, 2018 / The royal Society

When is modifying genetics not genetic modification? Strange question but it’s one that the European Court of Justice has spent two years deliberating. The court’s decision determines whether the latest generation of tools for making changes to the DNA of plants, animals and microorganisms come under the same regulations as …

Kenya, Ethiopia show neighboring Uganda how to revive its dying cotton industry with pest-tolerant technology

August 3rd, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Cotton, once a cash cow in Uganda where growers aspired to outcompete each other in the acreage covered and income earned, could slowly become a crop of the past if nothing is done to curb the steady decline in its production.
According to data from the Cotton Development Organization, Uganda’s lint …

Women’s cooperatives boost agriculture and savings in rural Ethiopia

August 3rd, 2018 / AllAfrica

Through women’s cooperatives, a joint UN programme provides training in agricultural techniques, improved seeds and time-saving machinery, while also granting loans and encouraging saving.
n most parts of the Dodola district, 300 km south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, slow-moving oxen plowing opens stretches of farmland. But in one field, a …

Let’s first ask what women scientists want

August 3rd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Contrary to stereotypes, women scientists often fare better in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) than they do in other parts of the world, says Rana Dajani, a biologist from Hashemite University in Jordan. Statistics from the OECD, from UNESCO and elsewhere show high percentages of women in scientific …

How drones can transform agriculture

August 2nd, 2018 / Daily Nation, Kenya

Progressive countries have adopted drones – unmanned aircraft that flies autonomously – for precision agriculture with impressive results, but what exactly can a drone do for the agricultural sector in Africa and Kenya, in particular?
Farmers need accurate, precise and up-to-date information on plant health and environmental conditions.
On the most basic …

South Africa’s fake honey scam leaves local beekeepers embittered

August 2nd, 2018 / The South African

There’s a great honey scam taking place in South Africa, whereby unethical manufacturers are faking nature’s sweet golden produce to maximise profits.
Unscrupulous producers are defrauding the public by manufacturing a product made of sugar water and selling it onto consumers under the misnomer of pure honey.
Fake honey damaging South Africa’s …

Ethiopia releases new, perennial sorghum variety

August 2nd, 2018 / SciDev.net

Ethiopian scientists have developed a new sorghum variety that could lead to multiple yields annually.
According to the National Statistics Agency in Ethiopia, the country has almost two million hectares of sorghum fields, and harvests about four million tonnes of sorghum grains every year.
The new sorghum variety is expected to produce …

How changing the world’s food systems can help to protect the planet

August 1st, 2018 / The Conversation

By Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director, CGIAR System Organization
Going into debt with nature is a dangerous thing. When our stocks of water, land and clean air are spent – we don’t have a second planet to borrow from. But that’s exactly the way that Earth is heading. 1 August 2018 marks …

Securing East Africa’s cassava

August 1st, 2018 / CGIAR

Morag Ferguson is thrilled with the results of a recent genotyping study. It seems that the cassava landraces she has been working on from South, East and Central Africa are pretty unique. The genetic diversity maps show this specific group of landraces branching off clearly in isolation from the cassava …

Genetically modifying rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins

August 1st, 2018 / Phys.org

A team of researchers from Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. has genetically modified a strain of rice to produce HIV-neutralizing proteins. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the technique by which they modified the rice and how it might …