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CRISPR conundrum: Strict European court ruling leaves food-testing labs without a plan

July 24th, 2019 / Nature, UK

A landmark European court ruling that made gene-edited crops subject to the same stringent regulations as other genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has created a conundrum for food-testing laboratories across Europe.

The ruling that the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) delivered on 25 July 2018 requires these scattered laboratories — which …

Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) named as Africa’s best Innovation Hub

July 24th, 2019 / The African Exponent

The Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) has been named by UNESCO – UNEVO as Africa’s top innovation hubs and one of the world’s 10 innovative technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.

The SIT which was founded in 2015 seeks to be a premier professional centre providing high quality technical …

African media urged to consider ‘national interest’ in reporting on GMOs

July 23rd, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Journalists and scientists are urging African media to consider the “national interest” when reporting on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to help guide the continent’s debate on the technology.

Affail Monney, president of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said it is not enough for the media to be conveyer belts of anti- and pro-GMO …

How can CRISPR technology improve plant breeding?

July 23rd, 2019 / European Scientist

A new comprehensive review paper published last week on 15 July in Nature plants explores how scientists can use CRISPR to enhance traditional plant breeding techniques with the goal of ensuring global food security (1). Gene-editing technologies like CRISPR will be particularly important “in the context of global climate change as well as in …

New genome editing technology for plant breeding

July 22nd, 2019 / Phys.org

Researchers have developed a new genome editing technology for rice, combining adenine-to-guanine single-base editing technology and Cas9 with an extended targeting scope. They report that it is possible to efficiently introduce base substitution mutations in rice genes and plan to expand the research to citrus fruit breeding. Read more …

Let Africans decide what is best for Africa!

July 22nd, 2019 / AgWeb

The statement just came to me: “Let Africans decide what is best for Africa!” 

A European “expert” had offered a different opinion. In his view, African farmers don’t need cutting-edge technology because we don’t understand the risks. He wants non-Africans to decide what is best for Africa. 

The scene was CRISPRcon 2019, a forum hosted last month in the Netherlands by …

Uganda: Schools to teach biotechnology

July 22nd, 2019 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports:

Finally the Ministry of Education and Sports has endorsed a new curriculum for the agriculture course unit that requires students in middle secondary school to be trained in modern biosciences including modern biotechnology applications.

The news which was also published by the online Crop Biotech Update (July …

Chinese scientists develop gene-edited soybean that can grow in warmer climates

July 19th, 2019 / SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center

Chinese agricultural scientists are using gene-editing tools to create soybean mutants that can adapt to warmer climates in low-altitude regions, in a bid to increase production of the crop in southern China.

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences have knocked out two key genes that regulate soybean flowering to …

African Union mulls harmonized biosafety system framework

July 19th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

The African Union (AU) is looking at the possibility of harmonizing biosafety regulations to ensure more effective handling of biotechnology applications in its 55 member-states.

The issue ranked top on the agenda at the just-concluded training for African biosafety regulators in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that was organized by the AU and its Development …

African Agricultural Scientists Root For GMOs

July 19th, 2019 / ChimpReport

Agricultural scientists from various African countries meeting in Kampala this week, spoke in unison calling on the African population to embrace use of Genetically Modified Organisms and varieties commonly known as GMOs as a way to address challenges faced in cropping systems. Read more … …