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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 …

Kenya developing animal biotech regulatory guidelines

March 8th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Kenya could soon begin using genetically modified (GM) animals in research as the country’s biosafety authority is set to finalize draft guidelines on regulation of contained use of transgenic animals. Speaking at a workshop on regulation of GM animals in Kenya, acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Biosafety Authority …

South Africa: farming sector must absorb more black agriculture graduates

March 8th, 2018 / Huffington Post, South Africa

A recent study by Mlungisi Mama that was reported in Farmers Weekly suggests that there are few agricultural blacks graduating with agricultural-related degrees. Mama observed that “at the University of Stellenbosch, the number of black students graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture is on average only slightly more than …

How we can save coffee scientifically

March 7th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

By B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali
An article by Alex Scott published in the newsletter, Chemical & Engineering News; last month indicated that the end of coffee is near due to climate change and disease unless a quick fix is made.
Another article titled: “Why we should genetically modify coffee” by Ross …

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 …

The determinants of crop yields in Uganda: what is the role of climatic and non-climatic factors?

March 2nd, 2018 / Agriculture & Food Security

Background: It is widely accepted that crop yields will be affected by climate change. However, the role played by climate in affecting crop yields vis-a-vis non-climatic stresses, is often unclear, limiting decision choices around efforts to promote increased production in light of multiple stresses.
Results: This study quantifies the role of …

A tiny beetle and its deadly fungus is threatening South Africa’s trees

March 2nd, 2018 / The Conversation

Sandton is Johannesburg’s economic hub – home to numerous companies’ headquarters and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. And now it has a new, unwelcome resident: a tiny beetle that could lay waste to several tree species found in the suburb and potentially the wider Johannesburg area. This is particularly concerning, as …

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 …

Ghana CSIR affirms safety of GM crops

February 28th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Genetically modified crops are safer than conventional ones as they go through very rigorous tests and processes over many years before they are released onto the market, a biosafety and environmentalist research scientist at the Crop Research Institute of Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has said. Charles …

Scientists discover secret of how to triple number of sorghum grains

February 28th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

In new research reported by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), a simple genetic modification can triple the grain number of sorghum, a drought tolerant plant that is an important source of food, animal feed, and biofuel in many parts of the world. Led by CSHL Adjunct Associate Professor …