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How can we achieve Zero Hunger?

November 22nd, 2018 / FAO, Italy

Podcast:
There is enough food to feed the entire population. Yet there are 821 million people in the world who are hungry. Achieving Zero Hunger means meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to ensure food security for everyone across the globe. So how can we achieve Zero Hunger by …

Improved method to identify salt tolerant crops

November 21st, 2018 / Phys.org

Soil salinity is affecting large areas in the world and millions of farmers are faced with decreasing yields and many are even forced to migrate.
Soil salinity is affecting large areas in the world and millions of farmers are faced with decreasing yields and many are even forced to migrate. In …

Biotechnology seen as a crucial step in achieving industrialization

November 21st, 2018 / Sunrise, Uganda

From B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya:
The Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija proclaimed ‘Industrialization for job creation and shared prosperity’ as the theme for Uganda’s current financial year budget 2018/19. The theme fits well within the wider aspirations of the African Union and the African Development Bank that seek to achieve a …

How GMO crops can be engineered to ‘rehydrate’ after intense drought

November 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan have found that the protein NGA1 is critical for plants to have normal responses to dehydration. In plants, dehydration response is regulated by the hormone abscisic acid (ABA). Successful rehydration requires accumulation of ABA during the early stages of …

Gene silencing could ‘fool’ plants into surviving harsh environments

November 21st, 2018 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

By temporarily silencing the expression of a critical gene, researchers fooled soybean plants into sensing they were under siege, encountering a wide range of stresses. Then, after selectively cross breeding those plants with the original stock, the progeny “remember” the stress-induced responses to become more vigorous, resilient and productive plants, …

African biotech students remain hopeful, despite obstacles

November 15th, 2018 / Alliance for Science, US

B4FA Fellow Christopher Bendana writes:
Though most African nations have been slow to commercialize genetically modified crops, students across the continent remain committed to earning advanced degrees in biotechnology.
Ironically, Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, has become a hub for such students, though the country has yet to pass its own biosafety …

Researchers discover how to engineer plants with enhanced drought resistance without affecting growth

November 15th, 2018 / ISAAA, US

Drought is one of the effects of climate change that needs serious attention. This year’s decreased rainfall and abnormally hotter temperatures in northern and eastern Europe caused large losses in cereals and potato crops and in other horticultural species.
Experts have long believed that that to ensure food security, it is …

Can we separate science from agriculture?

November 14th, 2018 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow Michael Ssali writes:
It is a big paradox that our leaders are talking passionately about training scientists and raising science teachers’ salaries and at the same time being slow to accept new scientific ideas even when they are meant to boost the country’s agricultural output, the economy, and food …

DNA project to decode ‘all complex life’ on Earth

November 14th, 2018 / BBC, UK

A mission to sequence the genome of every known animal, plant, fungus and protozoan – a group of single-celled organisms – is underway.
The Earth BioGenome Project (EBP) has been described as a “moonshot for biology”. A key aim is to use the information in efforts to conserve threatened species. Scientists …

Small genetic differences turn plants into better teams

November 13th, 2018 / Science Daily

The ongoing worldwide loss of biological diversity is one of the most pressing challenges humankind currently faces. Biodiversity is vital to humans not least because it supports ecosystem services such as the provision of clean water and the production of biomass and food. Many experiments have shown that diverse communities …