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Has the media failed Ghanaians on the GM debate?

June 25th, 2015 / Ghana Web

The raging debate over whether Ghana should accept Genetically Modified Foods (GM Foods) into the country’s food chain continues unabated. It has been contentious, and clouded with a lot of emotions and anti imperialism talk, which has not helped steer the conversation to allow for Ghanaians to make informed decisions …

Wild tobacco may contain key to attaining food security

June 24th, 2015 / Crop Biotech Update, US

Researchers have obtained the RDR1 gene from a wild tobacco plant (Nicotiana benthamiana). RDR1 gene controls the viral response of N. benthamiana strains in different viral infections. This development can be applied to crops such as potato, tomato, capsicum, and eggplant. View …

Saving seeds: hybrids and their benefits

June 18th, 2015 / Biology Fortified, US

This video describes what hybrid plants are, and their benefits to agriculture. To help people understand the scientific rationale of purchasing new seeds every year, a group of young scientists made this short video. Take a …

Lock and key for potential control of GMOs

June 17th, 2015 / UC Berkeley, US

UC Berkeley researchers have developed an easy way to put bacteria under a molecular lock and key in order to contain its accidental spread. The method involves a series of genetic mutations that render the microbe inactive unless the right molecule is added to enable its viability. “This approach is …

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 …