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Video: GM food – cultivating fear?

June 9th, 2015 / BBC TV, UK

A BBC Panorama investigation (30 mins). A new generation of GM foods is winning over governments and former critics of the technology, and scientists say the crops could help feed people in the developing world. So are those who oppose GM doing more harm than good? And is their …

Kenya: With GMOs, we can easily feed ourselves

June 8th, 2015 / The Daily Nation, Kenya

As Africa falls behind the rest of the world on agricultural technology, Kenya is falling behind the rest of Africa, a group of scientists in Nairobi has warned. “Other East African countries are proceeding at full speed to commercialise a number of genetically modified crops while Kenya’s progress has …

CRISPR: a powerful gene-editing technology with huge potential

June 4th, 2015 / Nature, UK

CRISPR, a powerful gene-editing technology is the biggest game changer to hit biology since PCR. But with its huge potential come pressing concerns. CRISPR’s ability to precisely edit existing DNA sequences makes for more-accurate modifications, but it also makes it more difficult for regulators and farmers to identify a modified …

The search for genetic clues to combat herbicide resistant weeds

June 1st, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

The advent of Roundup for crop control has brought a long list of benefits for farmers, CSU professor Scott Nissen said, including savings in fuel and water, as well as a reduction in soil erosion. But, while the system has proven easy and effective, Nissen said reliance on a …

Nature: a source of innovation in poorer countries

May 31st, 2015 / SciDev.net, UK

‘Bioinspiration’ means taking ideas from nature and turning them into technical innovation. This way of doing science could help poorer countries be more competitive. Scientists in developing countries should look for inspiration in their unique environments instead of trying to replicate European and US methods, says George Whitesides, of Harvard …

Biotech crops benefiting small farmers the most

May 31st, 2015 / Farm Futures, US

Farmers in developing countries have the most to gain from using GMO crops, according to an annual report from PG Economics which documents gains in yield and producer income, as well as reductions in pesticide use and greenhouse gas emissions, due to adoption of GMO crops globally. Read …

New biotech law to boost scientific inventions in Nigeria

May 31st, 2015 / The Guardian, Nigeria

Director General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Lucy Jumeyi Ogbadu, has said that with the passage into law of the National Biotechnology bill in April by the Senate and House of Representatives, Nigeria is set to become a leading light in scientific and technological inventions in the …

A proposal to modify plants gives GMO debate new life

May 29th, 2015 / New York Times, US

If it’s called a genetically modified organism (GMO), many people will be dead set against it. But what if scientists used the precise techniques of today’s molecular biology to give back to plants genes that had long ago been bred out of them? And what if that process were …

Saving coffee from extinction

May 24th, 2015 / BBC.co.uk

“Richer countries buy it, roast it and drink it, but have not paid for the agronomy. Only now is the industry waking up and seeing the need for it. The coffee industry has realised no-one else is doing it – it’s going to have to be us,” says Dr …

Kenya: New technology for collecting agric data

May 20th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssale reports: Several researchers have concluded a 10-day training, held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro), a software developed to improve the efficiency of data collection and management in agriculture. Read …