For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success. But now, thanks to modern biotechnology, the elusive blue rose may finally be attainable. Researchers have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a white rose, tinting the flowers blue. They report their results in ACS Synthetic Biology.
Biotech Crop Adoption Leads to Greater Sustainability and Socioeconomic Opportunities for Global Farmers and Citizens
Two new studies show continued environmental and social benefits of biotech crop use and adoption
(June 26, 2018) – Today, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) and PG Economics, Ltd. released new studies highlighting the continued social, environmental and economic benefits of the global adoption of biotechnology in agriculture. Read more
Local experts urged Filipino students to consider biotechnology as an exciting and promising career and make an impact in the justice system and healthcare. Read more
KAMPALA, Uganda — Several genetically modified crops that are more resilient to drought, flooding, saline or acid soils and temperature extremes resulting from climate change are already being researched in Uganda and are in advanced stages. The enactment of an enabling law, the Uganda National Biosafety Bill 2017, is intended to enhance the development of modern biotechnology.
NEW DELHI: Malaysian state of Selangor has expressed interest in collaborating with India in the fields of biotechnology, ICT, life sciences, transport and logistics with a view to boost economic ties between the two countries.
Farmer-leaders and members of the Asian Farmers Regional Network Philippines (ASFARNET) from all over the country learned about the products, science, safety, and potential benefits of biotechnology as well as strategies and skills for biotech communication during the Trainer’s Training-Workshop Series 2017: Agri-biotechnology Capacity Building for ASFARNET-Philippines on September 21-22, 2017 at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
Invest Selangor CEO explains the importance of biotechnology to the state and what it is doing to grow the sector there.
SHAH ALAM: For Invest Selangor CEO Hasan Azhari Idris, the old saying “Good things come in small packages” holds true for the move to develop the life sciences industry, particularly biotechnology, in the state.
French Ajinomoto Eurolysine SAS, part of the world leading producer of amino acids by fermentation, has received a positive safety assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for use of freeze-dried genetically modified E. coli bacteria as a feedstuff supplement.
There are no risks for human and animal health or the environment from this biomass regarding the genetic modiﬁcation of the strain, the EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) concluded. According to the panel, the E.coli strain PT73, which was engineered to overproduce the essential amino acid threonine by Ajinomoto, may be used as a feed material for pigs, ruminants and salmonids.
The heat-inactivated gram-negative GM bacterial strain does not contain any full-length antibiotic resistance genes or other sequences of concern (EJ, doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2017.4936). However, the panel said that toxicological data indicate effects of PT73 on blood coagulation and liver, which the EFSA considers to be adverse. As a consequence, the panel did not conclude on the safety for the consumer of products derived from animals receiving feed containing PT73. Based on data analyses, the FEEDAP panel recommends a daily supplementation of feed dry matter with 8% for dairy cows, 10% PT73 for fattening of pigs and 13% PT73 for salmonids as safe.
PT73 should be considered as a potential skin and respiratory sensitiser. Moreover, any exposure to dust from the product via the inhalation route should be considered a serious risk. The FEEDAP Panel also considered that substitution of PT73 for other protein-rich feed materials will not adversely affect the environment.
-Published in European Biotechnology. See original article link here.
CAN THO, Vietnam – The application of new technologies such as bio-technology would facilitate sustainable agriculture.
US firm AquaBounty Technologies says that its transgenic fish has hit the market after a 25-year wait.
Genetically engineered salmon has reached the dinner table. AquaBounty Technologies, the company in Maynard, Massachusetts, that developed the fish, announced on 4 August that it has sold some 4.5 tonnes of its hotly debated product to customers in Canada.
Recently 60 delegates from 22 Asian countries took part in a workshop organized by the United Nations in Manila to map out national adaptation plans or NAPs, which are the main vehicles of countries for climate change adaptation including accessing climate finance. This is quite significant in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of America from the Paris Agreement, which binds countries to fight climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so.
The process mimics on the microscale the way in which Bombyx mori silkworms spin the cocoons from which natural silk is harvested.
London, Jul 19 : Researchers in the UK have helped to make microscopic versions of the cocoons spun by silkworms to store sensitive proteins technology which could be used in pharmaceuticals to treat a range of debilitating illnesses.
Science is truly an exciting field albeit a complex one to many. While we recognize the fruits and innovations that science has brought to us throughout millennia, many are still far from appreciating it. Some even fear it in the modern world. But science has no sense of resentment, and only seeks to alleviate man’s basic longing: necessity.
Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Jodhpur, have gone a step further in the quest for low-cost biofuel. The scientists have shown that oil extracted from algae can be converted into diesel by using sand from Rajasthan.
World over scientists are working on converting algae oil into biofuels (a fuel derived immediately from living matter) using different catalysts.
‘You have to have many scientists – Filipino scientists – who are passionate about the country and those who do not forget their country,’ says Arman Ali Ghodsinia
MANILA, Philippines – Fresh from his much-applauded valedictory speech at the graduation ceremony of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Arman Ali Ghodsinia shared what he intends to do after college and his big dreams for the country.
Ghodsinia, a Maranao from Marawi who just graduated summa cum laude in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the UP College of Science, said he wants to help build the biotechnology industry in the Philippines.
“I believe (that) in the future, there will be a biotechnology industry here in the Philippines. And I have a lot of brilliant batchmates who I see will contribute well to the science in the Philippines. And together, we will be able to raise the science in the Philippines to the extent that people from other countries will come here to study science,” Ghodsinia said on Rappler Talk on Thursday, June 29.
Such industry does not exist yet in the country, though there are brilliant scientists and students studying the field, Ghodsinia said, citing a UP professor teaching biotechnology enterprises.
Biotechnology, according to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, is “any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.”
In the Philippines, the field of biotechnology should benefit the agriculture sector, Ghodsinia said, noting that the country hosts world-renowned research centers like the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).
“If we are to focus on something, I’d say that could be one of our priorities – improving our agriculture, because it’s one of our strong points,” the young scientist said.
Giving back to Marawi
The fresh graduate, who got a general weighted average of 1.173, worked on a thesis that tackled “genetic aberrations” that cause cancer and how these affect health outcomes like a patient’s reaction to medicines.
Ghodsinia plans to pursue graduate studies abroad but vowed to return to the country and open his own laboratory.
“And (through) this laboratory, I want to open opportunities for my kababayans (townmates) from Mindanao, from Marawi, and people who come from poor backgrounds to learn stuff in molecular biology as well. In doing so, together, we are able to raise (the level) of science in the Philippines,” he said.
He encouraged other Filipino scientists to do the same and help further develop science and technology in the country.
“You have to have many scientists – Filipino scientists – who are passionate about the country, and those who do not forget their country and are willing to sacrifice amidst all the opportunities abroad,” Ghodsinia said in a mix of Filipino and English.
Ghodsinia called on the government to provide more funds for science education in the country. “This means that you have to have more students who are interested in science,” he said.
‘Children of Mindanao’
In the meantime, Ghodsinia is supporting his sister Farah’s initiative, “Children of Mindanao,” which helps Muslim children access good education.
“We want to raise the awareness that there are certain groups in the Philippines, not only the Maranaos, who are being left behind. We, as scholars of the nation, or anyone in the Philippines, should also look [after] them,” he said.
Ghodsinia’s viral valedictory speech called for peace and compassion as fighting rages in his hometown. (READ: Maranao UP graduate: ‘Magmalasakit sa mga naaapi’)
“Here I am standing in front of you today, as proof that members of minorities like us Maranaos can also do well; and contribute effectively to societal growth if given the same opportunities and rights like many other Filipinos,” he said in his speech.
Ghodsinia’s sister, who also graduated with honors in UP Diliman before taking up law in the same university, is pushing for inclusive education and development in the country.
“It’s difficult to have that if the war consistently persists. You see these individuals actually crying and suffering – they don’t deserve it,” Farah said on Rappler Talk.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), more than 83,500 families or 385,000 people from Marawi City have so far been displaced by the month-long clashes between government troops and local terrorists.
-Written by Voilaire Published by Rappler.com. See original article link here.
According to the report, Nebraska corn growers planted 9.8 million acres, down 1 percent from last year. Biotechnology varieties were used on 96 percent of the area planted, up 1 percentage point from a year ago. Growers expect to harvest 9.5 million acres for grain, which is down 1 percent from last year.
Statewide, soybean planted area is estimated at 5.7 million acres, up 10 percent from last year’s total and a record high. Of the acres planted, 94 percent were planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant seed, down 2 percentage points from a year ago. Acres expected to be harvested are 5.65 million, up 10 percent from a year earlier.
Nationwide, the USDA reported that corn planted area for all purposes in 2017 is estimated at 90.9 million acres, down 3 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acres are down or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states. Area harvested for grain, at 83.5 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year.
Soybean planted area for 2017, nationwide, is estimated at a record high 89.5 million acres, up 7 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 24 of the 31 estimating states.
The USDA reported that winter wheat seeded in the fall of 2016 totaled 1.11 million acres, down 19 percent from last year and a record low. Harvested acreage is forecast at 1 million acres, down 24 percent from a year ago.
Along with declining wheat acres, Nebraska wheat farmers are also having to deal with a wheat virus outbreak that has reached epidemic levels and has been damaging fields and yields in the southern Nebraska Panhandle, according to the Associated Press. The Nebraska Wheat Association earlier this month reported that as many as 85 percent of southern Panhandle fields have been affected by the virus.
Nationwide, all wheat planted area for 2017 is estimated at 45.7 million acres, down 9 percent from 2016. This represents the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. The 2017 winter wheat planted area, at 32.8 million acres, is down 9 percent from last year. Of this total, about 23.8 million acres are hard red winter.
For other Nebraska crops, the USDA reported that:
— Alfalfa hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is at 770 thousand acres, up 3 percent from 2016. Other hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is 1.70 million acres, unchanged from last year.
— Sorghum acreage planted and to be planted, at 140 thousand acres, is down 30 percent from a year ago. The area to be harvested for grain, at 110 thousand acres, is down 37 percent from last year.
— Oats planted area is estimated at 115 thousand acres, down 15 percent from the previous year. Area to be harvested for grain, at 25 thousand acres, is unchanged from a year ago.
— Dry edible bean planted acreage is estimated at 150 thousand acres, up 9 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 139 thousand acres, up 14 percent from the previous year.
— Proso millet plantings of 130 thousand acres are up 37 percent from a year ago.
— Sugarbeet planted acres, at 49.7 thousand, are up 4 percent from last year.
— Oil sunflower acres planted are estimated at 55 thousand, up 90 percent from last year. Non-oil sunflower planted acreage is estimated at 6 thousand acres, down 52 percent from a year ago and a record low.
— Dry edible pea estimated planted acres are 45 thousand acres, down 18 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 42 thousand, down 19 percent from the previous year.
-Written by Robert Pore in The Grand Island Independent. See original article link here.
The Philippines was first country in Southeast Asia to plant biotech corn in 2003 after its approval for commercial planting in 2002. An estimated of 6.03 million hectares of land in the country was planted with biotech corn since then. Read more
The recommendation for clearance has been sent to Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave who has to approve the decision.
AFTER MONTHS of suspense, a genetically-modified variety of mustard, developed by a Delhi-based institute, has been cleared for commercial cultivation by the country’s top regulator on genetically-engineered organisms. The GEAC, or Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, a body that functions under the Environment Ministry, on Thursday gave its recommendation to approve the long-pending application of the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants at Delhi University which had developed a transgenic mustard called DMH-11.
The recommendation for clearance has been sent to Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave who has to approve the decision. The GEAC’s decision on Thursday puts DHM-11 mustard at a stage where Bt brinjal, a transgenic variety of brinjal, had found itself seven years ago. Bt brinjal was the first genetically modified food crop that had reached the Environment Minister’s table for clearance after obtaining all the necessary regulatory requirements. The then Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, however, had refused clearance and put an indefinite moratorium the decision. That moratorium continues to this day.
GM mustard is the only other food crop which has made it to this last stage, after prolonged debate and several rounds of regulatory checks that has been going on for years. It is not clear what Dave would decide on this crop.
But organisations opposed to genetically-modified crops slammed the GEAC’s decision. “GEAC has proved yet again that it is unscientific and uncaring with regard to citizens’ health and environment. They have failed in their very mandate and purpose for which they have been created, to protect citizens from the risk of GMOs… We hope and urge minister Anil Madhav Dave to be responsible in his decision-making. This GM mustard should be rejected just as Bt brinjal was, seven years ago,” said Sarson Satyagraha which claims to be a platform for “hundreds of organisations” representing farmers and scientists opposed to introduction of GM mustard.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) launched its 2016 report titled Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2016. Two launch events were held on May 4 and 5, 2017 in Beijing, China.
The media conference held on May 4, 2017 at China Wold Hotel was attended by some 40 journalists from Chinese and international news agencies. ISAAA Chair, Dr. Paul Teng, presented the highlights of the report. He stressed that the adoption of biotech crops increased to 185.1 million hectares in 2016 after the slight decline observed in 2015. ISAAA Senior Program Officer, Dr. Rhodora Aldemita, talked about the development and adoption of biotech crops in Asia.
The following day, a seminar was held on May 5, 2017 at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which was attended by 120 scientists, members of the academe, and students. Drs. Paul Teng and Rhodora Aldemita presented the highlights of the ISAAA report. Mr. Zhang Xianfa from the Ag GMO Division of the Ministry of Agriculture discussed the status of Chinese biotech crops regulation and development. The participants signified their interest in the adoption of more biotech crops in the country to benefit not just the farmers and their families, but also the consumers.
The events were organized in cooperation with China Biotechnology Information Center, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and the Chinese Biotechnology Society.
-Published by ISAAA. See original article link here.