Make Biotech Sexy Again

Not so long ago, biotechnology was touted as an industry that promised lucrative job opportunities. Many were taken by that promise. They lined up at colleges to enrol for the course. Universities competed to get students. Many eventually graduated, but the promised jobs were not there. This was understandable since the biotechnology industry then was still small. Many biotechnology graduates ended up working for banks selling credit cards!

Biotechnology is different now.

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Could India Become the Next Cell-cultured Meat Hub?

India has significant incentives for making these investments in research centers and supporting the development of lab-grown meat. The country seems to have the political will to encourage cellular agriculture. With a population of about 1.34 billion, it will likely need more protein products to keep pace as recent reports have warned that major changes are needed to feed the world’s population by 2050.

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From Lab to Field: Indonesian Scientists Develop New Crops for Farmers Using Nuclear Science

Farmers in Indonesia have over the last few years grown enough rice for more than 20 million people using plants developed through the country’s plant mutation breeding programme. The programme first took root through collaboration with the IAEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1997 and has since grown into a comprehensive partnership network that brings the results of scientific research with nuclear techniques to farmers’ fields.

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Salt Tolerant Rice Variety Developed by Indian Scientists

A group of Indian scientists has developed a new salt-tolerant transgenic rice plant by over-expressing a gene from a wild rice called Porteresia coarctata into the commonly used IR 64 indica rice variety. Porteresia coarctata is a native of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar and is grown mainly in saline estuaries.

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Gene-edited Foods Are Safe, Japanese Panel Concludes

Japan will allow gene-edited foodstuffs to be sold to consumers without safety evaluations as long as the techniques involved meet certain criteria, if recommendations agreed on by an advisory panel yesterday are adopted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This would open the door to using CRISPR and other techniques on plants and animals intended for human consumption in the country.

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5 Years After Releasing its First GM Crop, Bangladesh Says Farmers Gain by Adopting Bt Brinjal

Five years after introducing country’s first genetically modified crop – Bt brinjal – government undertook an impact assessment study last year. Yesterday it came up with the good news that farmers got benefitted financially by cultivating Bt brinjal and they are now much less prone to health hazards caused by pesticide sprays.

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Scientists Crack Genome of Superfood Seaweed, Ito-mozuku

Along the tropical coastline of Okinawa, Japan, farmers raise rows of delectable seaweed and harvest thousands of tons of the crop each year. Unfortunately, scientists predict that pollution and rising ocean temperatures will blunt this impressive yield, forcing farmers to adopt new cultivation techniques. Recently, scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) decoded the genome of the popular brown seaweed ito-mozuku (Nemacystus decipiens), providing data that could someday be critical to local farmers.

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Thailand is Pushing for the Development Of Bioeconomy

The Ministry of Industry is working out a roadmap for investment in the development of bioeconomy in Thailand. The bioeconomy industry is one of the Government’s target industries and is part of the five future industries in the New S-Curve, under the Thailand 4.0 policy.   Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak on 23 January 2017 presided over a ceremony for the launching of cooperation in building bioeconomy through the public-private-people partnership, or Pracharat.

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Isabela Governor Lauds Golden Rice Project

Incumbent Isabela Governor Faustino “Bodjie” Dy III commended the Golden Rice project for securing all the necessary requirements first before conducting field-testing, and for initiating dialogues among researchers, policymakers, and the public.

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