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Optimism high as Uganda’s biotech bill gets “second chance”

April 2nd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Some Ugandan officials are optimistic that the nation’s biotechnology biosafety bill will soon pass, saying that President Museveni’s concerns have been addressed.
“The president expressed concern on seven out of 44 clauses in the biosafety bill,” noted Kafeero Sekitoleko, chairman of Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee. “These have since been addressed …

The future of organic farming and gene editing

March 28th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

It’s become popular in recent years for some to call for a shift away from conventional farming and wholly into organic. But is this even feasible? Not when you compare the yields of both farming methods. Organic yields are usually 20-30 percent below conventional yields, with the sometimes exception of …

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast

March 28th, 2018 / University of Exeter, UK

Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world’s rice crop each year.
An international team led by the University of Exeter showed that chemical genetic inhibition of a single protein in the fungus stops it spreading inside …

Support for cassava development for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

March 28th, 2018 / Cornell CALS

Cassava is vital to the food security of millions of Africans who eat some form of the root crop daily. Although cassava breeders are making progress, they still face significant challenges in developing disease-resistant varieties that also increase overall yield and respond to the needs of smallholder farmers and processors. …

Nigeria to use biotechnology to improve crops

March 27th, 2018 / Nws Agency of Nigeria

Dr Rose Gidado, the Country Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), says Nigeria has concluded plans to use biotechnology as tool to improve agricultural produce and spur economic development.
Gidado made the disclosure on Thursday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to her, the measure will go …

NAS: Conventional agriculture won’t feed Nigeria

March 23rd, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

Nigerian scientists are drumming up support for modern agricultural biotechnology, saying the country cannot feed its growing population with the current conventional method of farming.
In an exclusive interview with the Alliance, Nigeria Academy of Science President Mosto Onuoha said the current method of farming would not sustain the nation …

The fuss about biotechnology: Why?

March 19th, 2018 / The Nigerian Voice

Science, technological innovation and a fundamental understanding of nature are among the major drivers of progress. Today’s advances in the treatment of human disease have been made possible by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and the DNA double-helix structure by Watson and Crick in 1953. These …

Is nature “natural” anymore?

March 16th, 2018 / Mapping Ignorance, Spain

It seems that we are definitely heading towards the bio-based society, a new way of interacting with the environment where fossil fuels won’t be needed anymore and “more natural” processes for producing energy, food and materials will prevail. Remarkably, this bio-turn often involves highly advanced biotechnology and strict competitive targets, …

Vitamin A-biofortified maize: exploiting genetic native variation for nutrient enrichment

March 16th, 2018 / Crop Trust, Germany

Nutrition trials in countries administering Vitamin A capsules resulted on average in a 24% reduction in child mortality. By breeding staple crops with higher amounts of Vitamin A, the supply of Vitamin A in our food sources can be sustainably increased.
Maize provides approximately 30% of the total calories of more …

Bt Corn associated with higher yields, less insecticide use in neighboring fields

March 16th, 2018 / The Scientist, Canada

In 1996, scientists introduced a type of transgenic maize with built-in protection against pests, such as the European corn borer, using genes derived from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis that code for proteins toxic to some insects but harmless to humans. Since then, a host of studies have quantified the benefits—in …