UPLB students win award for promoting agriculture

Promoting agriculture, students from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) bag the 2018 Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Award

MANILA, Philippines – Breaking stereotypes about agriculture, the UP Genetic Researchers and Agricultural Innovators Society (UP GRAINS) from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) rose as one of this year’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) on Thursday, February 22. Read more

Australia mulls a green light for gene editing

Gene editing technology – CRISPR is the best-known example – would be freed from government regulation under a proposal by Australia’s Office of Gene Technology Regulator. After a 12-month technical review of the country’s broad definition of genetic modification, regulator Raj Bhula said gene editing is a faster version of classic breeding practices. Read more

Searca draws in Taiwan for agriculture, rural development in Southeast Asia

Taiwan officials explored with visiting high-level delegates from a Philippine-based Southeast Asian research center possible collaborations in research, graduate education and institutional development and knowledge management initiatives. Read more

Why not a career in biotechnology

Local experts urged Filipino students to consider biotechnology as an exciting and promising career and make an impact in the justice system and healthcare. Read more

Nigeria on track to commercialize GMO cowpeas, rice, sorghum, corn and cotton

The Biosafety Bill was signed into law in 2015, putting Nigeria on the map of countries with requisite regulations for effective practice of modern agricultural biotechnology. The biosafety law allowed for the establishment of a biosafety regulatory agency, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) which has announced the nation’s readiness for the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) products. This means that Nigeria will soon begin the commercialization of staple crops which have gone through the world standard procedure of studies and observations in the field called confined field trials (CFTs). Read more

High adoption of biotech crops recorded in 2016

In 2016, the global area of biotech crops reached 185.1 million hectares, according to a research paper authored by Drs. Rhodora Aldemita and Randy Hautea of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). The results of their study are published on February 2, 2018 in GM Crops and Food. Read more

Monsanto asks government to regulate proliferating counterfeit Bt corn seeds

Global biotechnology pioneer Monsanto has asked the government to regulate proliferating counterfeit biotechnology seeds in the market that puts at risk investments in agriculture and poses threat of decline of farmers’ yield and income. Read more

How Manipulating the Plant Microbiome Could Improve Agriculture

few years ago, as a postdoc in the lab of Paul Schulze-Lefert at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, I used next-generation sequencing to study the bacterial communities that populate roots of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Although scientists had known for many years that roots interact with a variety of microorganisms, the composition of these communities was still poorly understood. As our sequencing data began rolling in, I was stunned by the staggering taxonomic diversity of bacteria that a single, tiny root can host. Yet there was an order in this apparent chaos. Almost invariably, members of the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria were enriched, differentiating the root specimens from the surrounding environment.

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