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Climate deadline looms for African food crops

March 8th, 2016 / BBC, UK

Researchers have produced a timescale of how projected climate change is set to alter the face of agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change is widely projected to have a significant adverse impact on food security if no adaptation measures are taken, they explain. In their study, the team provides timings …

Biosciences key to solving agricultural challenges

March 4th, 2016 / SciDev.net

Africa’s growth requires increased investments to harness biosciences as a tool for sustainable development in agriculture, a meeting has heard. Leading experts in agriculture say that innovative research and capacity building could help Africa respond to development challenges such as food security and climate change. But experts add that the …

Viruses have their own version of CRISPR

March 1st, 2016 / The Atlantic, US

With all the buzz around CRISPR, the gene-editing technique that has instigated many an ethical debate and one acrimonious patent dispute, it would be easy to mistake it for a recent human invention. It’s not. Bacteria invented CRISPR billions of years ago, as a defense against marauding viruses. The bacteria …

Young scientists push Bt research

March 1st, 2016 / The Standard, Philippines

The Outstanding Young Scientists Inc., the official organization of outstanding young scientist awardees of the National Academy of Science and Technology, urged the Supreme Court Monday to allow the research on Bt eggplant to continue. OYSI in a statement asked the high court to reconsider its earlier decision and allow …

How climate change is pushing more African countries to accept GM crops

March 1st, 2016 / African Insider

Faced with unpredictable harsh weather conditions more and more African Countries are changing their stance against genetically modified (GM) crops to help improve on farm yields and feed a growing population. For long GM food has been viewed with suspicion by many African governments with vicious debates taking place across …

New genetic advancements in wheat aimed at enhancing yield

February 26th, 2016 / ISAAA

Researchers from Texas A&M AgriLife Research Dr. Shuyu Liu are about to close the knowledge gap on the location of key traits in the wheat genome and how to access them. The study included three wheat populations from two popular AgriLife Research cultivars, TAM 111 and TAM 112, and other …

South Africa to ease some GM crop rules to avert food crisis

February 23rd, 2016 / The Guardian, UK

South Africa will relax some of its tough rules on genetically modified crops so it can ramp up maize imports from the United States and Mexico to avert a potential food crisis amid a severe drought, officials said. Almost 90% of maize in South Africa is genetically modified and the …

You probably didn’t know smallholder farmers can benefit from GMOs, too

February 23rd, 2016 / Forbes, US

Many smallholder farmer communities are challenging — transportation is difficult, electricity might be rare—but they’re filled with potential… Agricultural technology like GMOs can make a difference. Improved seed varieties can increase farmers’ yields, meaning farmers can harvest more from their land. That increase in yields doesn’t just change a farmer’s …

Genetically engineered rice with high levels of iron and zinc is developed

February 22nd, 2016 / Rice Today

A transdisciplinary group of scientists has succeeded in increasing iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) levels in rice through biofortification—a breakthrough in the global fight against micronutrient deficiency or “hidden hunger.” Read …

Why the whitefly is bringing global scientists to Tanzania

February 22nd, 2016 / IPPmedia.com

Scientists and researchers have expressed their concern about the recent upsurge in the number of whiteflies; the tiny, sap-sucking insects that destroy important crops and vegetables such as beans, cassava and sweet potato. The whitefly spreads diseases to important crops very swiftly, a situation which, if not urgently controlled, efforts …