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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Are Engineered Foods Healthier?

Food is synonymous with Southeast Asia. From the mouth-watering delicacies on the streets of Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines – just to name a few – to the Michelin starred restaurants that serve fine dining quality cuisine with a dash of authentic local flavours.

Yet, there is pressure on our food system to produce 70 percent more food to feed a population of 10 billion people globally by 2050. By then, the population of ASEAN is slated to reach 700 million and its food demand is estimated to increase by 40 percent. It is then imperative to achieve food security, without expanding crop or pastureland all while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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From Sky Farms to Lab-grown Shrimp, Singapore Eyes Food Future

Singapore, the tiny Southeast Asian city-state, is an unlikely place for a farming revolution.

With tiered fish farms, vegetable plots atop office buildings and lab-grown shrimp, the island aims to beef up its own food production and rely less on imports to feed its 5.6 million people.

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US to Help Pakistan Introduce Genetically-engineered Corn

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said that future collaborative projects between the US and Pakistan include using American soybean feed in poultry, fish farming and dairy industries, introducing genetically-engineered maize and working with various government departments to develop uniform food safety standards.

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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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