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Week in Review

B4FA Week in Review – 13 May 2013

May 13th, 2015

This week, Uganda’s ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), has greenlighted the highly debated GMO bill, guaranteeing it rapid passage in Parliament. The bill not only regulates production of GM crops but also their import and export. “Uganda must follow this global trend in terms of technological advancement…” said …

B4FA Week in Review – 6 May 2015

May 7th, 2015

Everyone’s favorite beverage – coffee – made a splash in headlines this week, as a crop that both has the potential to boost livelihoods and as one that is vulnerable to climate change. While the Ugandan government is giving farmers free seeds in an effort to double coffee production, …

B4FA Week in Review – 29 April 2015

April 29th, 2015

This week, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan finally signed the country’s National Biosafety Agency Bill into law. The new law aims to allow safe application of biotechnology to boost economic development, according to an article by B4FA Fellow Abdallah el-Kurebe, and will allow Nigeria to commercialize Bt-cotton, Bt-maize and Herbicide Tolerant …

B4FA Week in Review – 22 April 2015

April 22nd, 2015

Will we have to hack photosynthesis in order to meet the world’s food needs? A recent paper, published in Cell, suggests that supercomputers and genetic engineering could someday help boost plants’ ability to convert sunlight into energy. Among the possibilities are genetically engineering crops to widen the spectrum of light …

B4FA Week in Review – 15 April 2015

April 15th, 2015

Welcome back to the B4FA newsletter. We hope you all had an enjoyable spring break!
This week, wheat takes the stage. Kansas State University scientists have created a first-of-its-kind genetic map for wheat, providing a detailed description of its genetic differences around the world. Based on an analysis of 62 wheat varieties, the map offers access …

B4FA Week in Review – 31 March 2015

March 31st, 2015

Plant breeders at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have (re-)discovered a vintage bean variety – the tepary, once grown by native Americans in the southwest US and Mexico in hot and arid climates. Researchers are crossing these with modern beans to create heat-tolerant varieties, as beans are extremely sensitive to higher temperatures, making them particularly vulnerable …

B4FA Week in Review – 24 March 2015

March 25th, 2015

The GM debate in Africa has made UK headlines as journalist Oliver Wright journeys to Uganda for the Independent to investigate the Bill and Melinda Gates programme to develop wilt-resistant hybrid bananas by inserting a gene from red peppers. (Read “The GM crops debate moves to Africa – and it’s just as noisy“.) …

B4FA Week in Review – 17 March 2015

March 17th, 2015

There is a lot of interest this week, not least a report from the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading showing that scientific evidence indicates that there has, so far, been no environmental damage from growing GM crops. That’s good news in the light of a report form the …

B4FA Week in Review – 10 March 2015

March 10th, 2015

Plenty of interesting and exciting biotech stories this week! Highlights include the construction of a new downloadable, searchable plant protein database, built by the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, which will help scientists identify the functions of more plant genes.
Meanwhile, the newly developed method of “field pathogenomics”, promises to track yellow rust …

B4FA Week in Review – 3 March 2015

March 3rd, 2015

Where and how can we grow more food for a growing population? IFPRI has published a map of the world’s cropland, showing how intensely the land is farmed, as well as the size of farms. The maps may help develop land sustainably by making farms more efficient, and help avoid …

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