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Spectroscopy analysis of soil to help farmers

August 17th, 2015 / African Farming, UK

Soil testing before planting helps farmers to decide the quantity and quality of fertilisers they should apply, thus reducing the risks of crop failure and financial loss. The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) has developed a new, faster, low-cost laboratory-based soil analysis technique. Developed by the African Soil Information Service …

GMO technologies and the realities

August 10th, 2015 / Swarajya, India

The decision makers need to dispassionately study the GMO technology. They need to take the lead in standing up to the anti-science activists and sift the wheat from the chaff. See …

Superior seeds, better farming practices make Lwanga a millionaire

August 6th, 2015 / The Sunrise

B4FA Fellow Henry Lutaaya reports: Lwanga’s name is almost synonymous with success in modern agriculture across the sub-county and perhaps the entire district of Lwengo. His ten-acre garden stands out in stark contrast with his neighbours’, thanks in great part to his appreciation of the science of the use of …

Ghana shares new superlab with West African scientists

July 31st, 2015 / SciDev.net

VIDEO: “For once researchers in Ghana can start to dream. Right now you are not limited by the absence of equipment,” says Lawrence Borquaye, assistant manager of the new central laboratory at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The idea behind it is to reduce costs by sharing …

Strengthening STEM teaching in Africa

June 30th, 2015 / AfricanBrains.net

The African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on the African continent. The signing took place at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in …

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 …