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Vaccines for plants? RNA spray could help protect crops from pests and disease

April 11th, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Novel technologies are being sought to replace the traditional pesticides used to protect plants, particularly edible plants such as cereals. A new collaborative project between the University of Helsinki and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is shedding light on the efficacy of environmentally friendly RNA-based vaccines that …

RNA clay offers green alternative to plant pesticides

January 27th, 2017 / SciDev.net, UK

A nano-sized bio-degradable clay-comprising double stranded ribonucleic acid (dsRNA) could offer a cost-effective, clean and green alternative to chemical-based plant pesticides.
Australian researchers from the University of Queensland have successfully used a gene-silencing spray, named BioClay, a combination of biomolecules and clay, to protect tobacco plants from a virus for 20 …

Myth busting: RNA from GMO foods won’t alter your genes

October 10th, 2016 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

In a study to be published in November in the journal Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, the effects of ingesting RNA from food sources like a new breed of Monsanto’s Bt corn is tested on a mouse model in order to determine safety. This study is in direct response to claims …

Genetic sprays that don’t modify a plant’s genome might bring benefits with less controversy

August 17th, 2015 / MIT Technology Review

The cells of plants and animals carry their instructions in the form of DNA. To make a protein, the sequence of genetic letters in each gene gets copied into matching strands of RNA, which then float out of the nucleus to guide the protein-making machinery of the cell. RNA …