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Video: GM food – cultivating fear?

June 9th, 2015 / BBC TV, UK

A BBC Panorama investigation (30 mins). A new generation of GM foods is winning over governments and former critics of the technology, and scientists say the crops could help feed people in the developing world. So are those who oppose GM doing more harm than good? And is their …

CRISPR: a powerful gene-editing technology with huge potential

June 4th, 2015 / Nature, UK

CRISPR, a powerful gene-editing technology is the biggest game changer to hit biology since PCR. But with its huge potential come pressing concerns. CRISPR’s ability to precisely edit existing DNA sequences makes for more-accurate modifications, but it also makes it more difficult for regulators and farmers to identify a modified …

Nigeria’s new leadership raises hopes for science

June 3rd, 2015 / Nature, UK

Oye Ibidapo-Obe, former head of the Nigerian Academy of Science, discusses research-policy priorities for the country’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari. “The incoming government did not mention science research and funding in its campaign, probably because the average Nigerian does not see science as the core need of the country, so …

Working to save African cassava from whitefly

May 26th, 2015 / TED Blog

For decades, the farmers of East Africa have battled the African whitefly, a tiny insect that infests the cassava crop. Computational biologist Laura Boykin, who studies the Bemisia tabaci whiteflies that plague East Africa, using genomics, supercomputing and evolutionary history. With the data she’s gathering, now publicly available via …

Genetic engineering is just a tool

May 25th, 2015 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

“Genetic engineering is just a tool and in itself is neither good or bad, says Iida Ruishalme” Read …

Kenya: New technology for collecting agric data

May 20th, 2015 / Daily Monitor, Uganda

B4FA Fellow, Michael Ssale reports: Several researchers have concluded a 10-day training, held in Nairobi, Kenya, on Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro), a software developed to improve the efficiency of data collection and management in agriculture. Read …

Attack by two parasites reduces cattle death

May 12th, 2015 / Farmbiz Africa

A calf infected by two parasites of the same species is more likely to live and develop immunity against the deadly East Coast Fever than one attacked by a single parasite a new study says. The findings of the study which could offer real insights in understanding, and taming a …

Research: Africa’s fight for equality

May 7th, 2015 / Nature, UK

In a 2014 ruling on a lawsuit lodged against the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the Nairobi Industrial Court agreed that six Kenyan doctors in an international research partnership had been systematically passed over for promotion and training, whereas their European colleagues had flourished. Collaborations have proliferated in recent decades …

The future of food: growing more with the same land

May 4th, 2015 / The Conversation, UK

There are three main reasons why the productivity of existing farmland will need to dramatically increase in the next 40 years.
The world’s population is unlikely to stabilise this century and is on course to reach up to 12 billion by 2100. That’s double the existing population and a lot of …

Five priorities for the UN Sustainable Development Goals

May 4th, 2015 / Nature, UK

This week, the United Nations is deliberating in New York how to implement the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that it will launch formally in September. Science must be at the heart of its plans. Read …