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GenED: the next generation of biotechnology

March 9th, 2018 / Fod and Nutrition

There is enormous excitement about the potential applications of genome editing, or GenEd. Billed as a set of techniques that promise more precision, flexibility and efficiency, these new breeding technologies are fast-replacing the biotechnology used to create the first genetically engineered crops. Scientific and agricultural communities are eager to foster …

World Women’s Day: women play vital role in biotech

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

As the world celebrates the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018, more women are speaking up for their rights, equality, and justice. With the theme “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives”, the United Nations Commission puts a focus on the activism of rural women, who make up …

Planting season is here, have you tested your soil yet?

March 7th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Except for a few feed manufacturers who keep to the standards in poultry feed formulations, many feed companies in the country make very poor quality feeds, a situation which has led to huge losses.
Following the release of Uganda’s seasonal climate outlook for March to May this year by Uganda National …

CRISPR gene editing technology and the future of Nigeria’s biotechnology industry

March 7th, 2018 / Medium.com

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), is bringing with it, a new era that is fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds with remarkable impacts on global economies, partly consolidating what is now known as bioeconomies. As breakthroughs in different fields (including artificial intelligence; autonomous vehicles; gene editing; the Internet of …

GMOs: Give farmers a chance to speak out

March 5th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

Emma Naluyima writes:
What to strive for. As a farmer, therefore, all I look for in any given technology, is whether it can solve current challenges I am facing or suiting the needs of the market I am targeting. If a GMO has a certain characteristic that can solve a challenge …

Data can help to end malnutrition across Africa

March 5th, 2018 / Nature, UK

Kofi Annan writes:
In 2000, the United Nations hosted the largest gathering of political leaders ever held. At that meeting, all 189 UN member states, plus leading development institutions, committed to the Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight ambitious goals for lifting more than one billion people worldwide out of …

Study shows how plants use ‘baits’ to trap pathogens

February 28th, 2018 / Earlham Institute, UK

A study published in Genome Biology shows how plants use ‘baits’ to recognize and trap disease-causing pathogens before infection can start.
Ksenia Krasileva and her team from Earlham Institute, together with researchers from The Sainsbury Laboratory, used phylogenetic analyses to identify how these ‘bait’ genes are distributed throughout different wild and …

New climate-smart technologies will boost agriculture and jobs in West Africa

February 27th, 2018 / UN Climate Action

A new programme is being launched to equip farmers in Africa with climate-smart agricultural tools and technologies.
The project is being rolled out by CORAF, a West African research institute, with the support of the World Bank.
It seeks to place innovative technologies in the hands of farmers to better protect them …

Why we should genetically modify coffee

February 26th, 2018 / RealClear Science

Remember the Gros Michel banana? If you’re under the age of seventy, you probably don’t. That’s because in the 1950s a fungal disease called Panama disease essentially wiped out commercial production of the Gros Michel. In just a few years, growers were forced to switch from the rich, creamy, and …

Africa could become a world agricultural leader in CRISPR and other new breeding techniques

February 26th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru writes:
It’s 8:30 East African Standard Time. I disembark from a van filled with science journalists from Kampala, Uganda and accompanied by stakeholders from Uganda National Farmers Federation at the National Agriculture Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge.
We are on a fact-finding trip about research and the …