Scientists Crack the Code to Improve Stress Tolerance in Plants

In any eukaryotic organism, the DNA in a cell exists not as a loose strand, but as a highly condensed complex that consists of DNA and other proteins known as histones. Overall, this condensed structure is referred to as chromatin, and this packaging is important for maintaining the integrity of DNA structure and sequence. However, as chromatin restricts the topology of DNA, modification of chromatin (via modification of histones) is an important form of regulation of genes and is referred to as epigenetic regulation.

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With its CRISPR Revolution, China Becomes a World Leader in Genome Editing

Editing of plant, animal, and human genomes has never been easier, as this country’s scientists are rapidly demonstrating.

For many people, CRISPR plus China equals the biophysicist He Jiankui, who infamously used the genome editor last year to alter the DNA of two human embryos that would become twin girls. Before his announcement, He was little-known within the country’s CRISPR community, which has grown rapidly and is now challenging—and by some measures surpassing—the United States in its use of the powerful tool.

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We Dislike GM Foods Because We’re Ignorant About Them

Protesters of the recent application of a confined  genetically modified (GM)  rice field trial at the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) Arau station in Tambun Tulang, Perlis, claimed that GM rice threatens Malaysia as a centre of genetic diversity for rice.

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Making Biotechnology Acceptable to More Filipinos

To address the  problem of  providing food to a rapidly growing population,  the  scientific  communities  worldwide including the Philippines are  advocating a balanced, safe  and sustainable approach  using the best conventional  crop technology and the best of biotechnology to achieve sustainable food production.  Biotechnology is a modern technology that makes use of organisms (or parts thereof) to make or modify products; improve and develop microorganisms, plants or animals; or develop organisms for specific purposes in a more precise manner.

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New technology for protein complex discovery holds promise for biotechnology and crop improvement

Living cells survive and adapt by forming stable protein complexes that allow them to modulate protein activity, do mechanical work and convert signals into predictable responses, but identifying the proteins in those complexes is technically challenging. Purdue University researchers have developed a method to predict the composition of thousands of proteins complexes at one time, a discovery that will speed discoveries about cell functions. Read more

Researchers Report Rice Gene that Confers Broad-spectrum Resistance to β-triketone Herbicides

Genomes of the genus Oryza, including both domesticated and wild species, have been well characterized because of the importance of rice to the global food supply. The wealth of genetic variation in rice varieties has allowed the identification of useful genes for crop breeding by map-based cloning methods. With regard to large-scale farming, in particular, weed control with the use of appropriate herbicides is critical for efficient crop production.

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Microbial Manufacturing: Genetic Engineering Breakthrough for Urban Farming

Researchers at SMART, MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, and National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed a technology that greatly accelerates the genetic engineering of microbes that can be used to manufacture chemicals used for urban farming. The new technology will result in a faster, cheaper, more accurate, and near-scarless plasmid construction, using standard and reusable parts, compatible with most popular DNA assembly methods.

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Rice Farmers In For More Bountiful Harvests With DOST-formulated Growth Promoter

Greater harvests are forthcoming for Filipino farmers with the availability of the radiation-processed Carrageenan Plant Growth Promoter (PGP) formulated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

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Legacy Monsanto, Cagayan PLGU hold agri-related seminars

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, July 22 (PIA)–Legacy Monsanto Philippines recently partnered with the Cagayan Provincial Learning and Resource Center (CPLRC) under the Office of Governor Manuel Mamba for the conduct of an agricultural biotech seminar for farmers and an agri-counselling seminar for senior high school students. Read more

Researchers Can Finally Modify Plant Mitochondrial DNA

Researchers in Japan have edited plant mitochondrial DNA for the first time, which could lead to a more secure food supply. Nuclear DNA was first edited in the early 1970s, chloroplast DNA was first edited in 1988, and animal mitochondrial DNA was edited in 2008. However, no tool previously successfully edited plant mitochondrial DNA.

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Singapore’s First Seed Bank Launched at Botanic Gardens to Promote Plant Conservation

Much has been said about endangered animal species, but Singapore is now also doing its part for threatened plant species in South-east Asia with the opening of the country’s first seed bank.

The bank – where seeds are stored and conserved – is located at the Botanic Gardens and was launched by the National Parks Board (NParks) on Saturday (July 13). The plan is to use the seeds for habitat restoration and species conservation projects in Singapore and the region.

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