Researchers have uncovered an unusual protein activity in rice that can be exploited to give crops an edge in the evolutionary arms race against rice blast disease, a major threat to rice production around the world.
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.
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.
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.
Plant geneticist Emil Javier, who spearheaded the creation of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) that popularized high-yielding crops and disease-resistant varieties, is the country’s newest national scientist.
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.
MANILA, Philippines — Did you ever wonder why we spend money on health research? Should we not just wait for the data generated from researches by high-income countries (like US and Europe) and use their results in the Philippines? Read more
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
A Filipino scientist and research expert has been elected president of an international society dedicated to the basic and applied aspects of breeding research in economically important plants. Read more
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.
Chinese researchers created a safe and efficient technology to edit RNA, which could largely avoid side effects and ethical concerns from previous gene-editing technologies.
Farmers’ understanding of the science of genetics may be limited, but their assessment of whether it works in their condition or not is usually not off the mark.
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.
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).
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 in South Korea have developed a new strategy to efficiently produce fatty acids and biofuels from glucose.
With a few Haryana farmers symbolically defying a government restriction against sowing banned HT Bt Cotton in Hisar, and the government determined to curb its spread, The Indian Express explains the complex problem and arguments that both the sides present.
Chinese agricultural scientists are using gene-editing tools to create soybean mutants that can adapt to warmer climates in low-altitude regions, in a bid to increase production of the crop in southern China.
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.
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.