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Climate change, transgenic corn adoption and field-evolved resistance in corn earworm

June 21st, 2017 / Royal Society Open Science, UK

Increased temperature anomaly during the twenty-first century coincides with the proliferation of transgenic crops containing the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Berliner) (Bt) to express insecticidal Cry proteins. Increasing temperatures profoundly affect insect life histories and agricultural pest management. However, the implications of climate change on Bt crop–pest interactions and insect resistance …

Why did Tanzanian farmers demand growing GM crops?

June 19th, 2017 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali reports:
An online weekly newsletter, Crop Biotech Update, reported on June 6, 2017, that farmers in Mwanza Province, North Eastern Tanzania urged their government to hasten delivery of GM crops which they said would save them from crop failure.
The maize, cassava, and cotton farmers whose crop has …

Can CRISPR gene editing provide hardier, more nutritious, better tasting crops?

June 15th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Using CRISPR to add—or remove—a plant trait is faster, more precise, easier, and in most cases cheaper than either traditional breeding techniques or older genetic engineering methods.
Although scientists can use CRISPR to add genes from other species to a plant, many labs are working to exploit the vast diversity of …

The enormous challenge of sustainably feeding an expanding population

June 14th, 2017 / GMO Answers

Dr Esther Ngumbi writes: According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. This presents an enormous challenge and necessitates the need to find sustainable ways to grow food to feed this expanding population.
Just like the challenge is …

Please say no to the term ‘GMO’

June 12th, 2017 / AGDaily

In science and medicine the terminology applied can be the difference between life and death, success and failure. Words have precise meanings, and a productive dialogue in the sciences requires adherence to a common set of mutually recognized terms. Shared meaning is like a verbal handshake that ensures a positive …

Q&A: Boosting bioenergy in Africa and Latin America

June 9th, 2017 /, UK

To find out why scientists are so optimistic about biofuel production in the developing world, SciDev.Net spoke with Glaucia Mendes Souza, researcher at the Chemistry Institute of the University of São Paulo.
Souza is also coordinator of the Bioenergy Research Program at the Brazilian research foundation FAPESP, and co-editor of …

Tanzanian farmers urge gov’t to hasten delivery of GE crops

June 8th, 2017 / ISAAA

Farmers in Mwanza Province, North Eastern Tanzania have urged their government to hasten delivery of biotech crops, which they say, may save them from crop failure. The maize, cassava, and cotton farmers whose crop has been severely affected by stalk borer pests, cassava mosaic disease and African cotton bollworm respectively, …

Public learns about biotech for climate smart agriculture at World Environment Day commemoration in Uganda

June 8th, 2017 / ISAAA

“I believe in green energy, green agriculture, and a green economy. We can waste no more time, let us fight together for our planet, ” said French ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Stephanie Rivoal, while speaking on behalf of the European Union at the World Environment Day celebrations in Ibanda district …

Study finds large chromosomal swaps key to banana domestication

June 7th, 2017 /

Bananas are one of the most important staple crops of the tropics, transported with great care over great distances to satisfy the world’s appetite. And today, with more than half the world’s bananas coming from a single, Cavendish variety, they may increasingly become susceptible to funguses that threaten its livelihood, …

Biofortification: is it the next ‘Green Revolution’ for more nutritious food?

June 5th, 2017 / Genetic Literacy Projects, US

The Green Revolution that began in the 1940s and 50s brought about large increases in crop yields and saved millions of people from mass famine. Yet malnutrition remains widely prevalent around the globe. And, while many people eat enough calories, many do not get enough nutrients.
Now, plant breeders and biotechnologists …