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
The cultivation of genetically engineered (GMO) crops hit record levels in 2016, with 18 million farmers planting 185.1 million hectares of biotech crops globally, according to a new report.
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
NEW DELHI: The production of cotton in the country has nearly doubled since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002, the government told the Rajya Sabha today. Read more
Beta carotene-rich grain key to fight vitamin-A deficiency
Dhaka, Feb 5 (UNB) – Bangladeshi rice scientists have advanced a beta carotene-rich rice to a varietal release stage, heralding a new era in fight against vitamin-A deficiency (VAD). Read more
Chinese drug companies have been on a tear in the US stock market. Now, entrepreneurs and investors betting on the Asian country’s fledgling biotechnology industry see another reason for optimism. Read more
The 2018 batch of Newton Agham 31 grantees, who qualified for scholarships, researches, trainings and institutional links to the United Kingdom were recognized in a recent reception at the British Embassy Manila.
Australia is set to reform how it regulates new genetic engineering techniques, which experts say will help to dramatically speed up health and agriculture research. Read more
Timing can make a big difference in a career. Is it worthwhile to stay longer in a comfortable job or is it the right moment to strike out for a new challenge? Similarly, timing can make all the difference when deciding to enter a developing market like China. Read more
DEALING with controversies can be stressful and migraine inducing. Still, I welcome heated discussions over certain topics if only because it will give light and popularize what was once obscure but nonetheless important issues. Take for instance the recent decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revoke the incorporation papers of online media site Rappler. Overnight, my social-media feeds are filled by posts of corporate law experts talking about Philippine Depositary Receipts and media ownership. Each posts will generate responses—and not just from lawyers or law students—either criticizing, defending or clarifying the SEC’s decision. Read more
Ethylene-responsive factor 8 (ERF8), a member of AP2/ERF superfamily, is one of the transcription factors involved in repression of leaf senescence in plants. Leaf senescence is the final stage of leaf development and involves the mobilization of nutrients from old leaves to newly growing tissue. Regulation of leaf senescence depends on the developmental age of plants, and it is also influenced by various external stimuli. Read more
In September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to a version of the plant Camelina sativa, an important oilseed crop that had been genetically engineered using CRISPR to produce enhanced omega-3 oil. What was interesting about this approval was that the USDA did not ask that the inventors of the plant endure the usual regulatory hoops required to sell biotech crops. The next month, a drought-tolerant soybean variety developed with CRISPR also got a quick pass from the USDA. Read more
A research scientist, Paul Onyenekwe, has described the approval granted to two international agencies by a Nigerian regulatory agency to test run some genetically modified cassava in Nigeria as a welcome development. Read more
Animal and plant breeders are trying out a set of powerful new tools which have the potential to revolutionize agricultural practices and provide consumers with more healthy and safe food options. Read more
Last January 10, 2018, I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to visit the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija. I was personally assisted by PCC Executive Director Arnel N. del Barrio and other very cordial personnel of the center. Read more
When most of us think about the threats posed by climate change, events like floods, droughts, intense storms and hotter temperatures come to mind. These are all, according to the vast majority of scientists, exactly what we can expect to see more and more of. However, what is often overlooked are the sociopolitical consequences of these climatic changes. In other words, we tend to view these natural disasters in a vacuum without recognizing the myriad ways in which climate change is both directly and indirectly shaping economies, cultures and governments. Read more
Stakeholders in the agricultural biotechnology sector are offering assurances that the problems that prompted Burkina Faso to temporarily halt cultivation of genetically engineered cotton won’t be repeated with GMO crops in other African countries. Read more
Advancing biotechnology in the country, some 200 farmer leaders from different regions in the country convene for the National Agri-biotechnology Farmers Congress recently. Read more
Professor Calestous Juma: June 9, 1953 – Dec. 15, 2017
To outsiders, Calestous Juma’s rise from humble origins in a remote Kenyan village to an internationally recognized Harvard scholar, science writer and public intellectual, might have seemed improbable. But as Juma himself liked to tell the story, he learned innovation from his parents, whose poverty meant that they constantly had to change to survive.