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Sequenced genome of ancient crop could raise yields

Humanity has finally gotten to know one of its oldest, hardiest crops on a genetic level.   An international team has sequenced and mapped the genome of proso millet – a feat essential to raising yields of the drought-resistant crop in the Nebraska Panhandle and semiarid regions where population booms foreshadow food shortages.   Because millets can grow amid...

Scientists engineer new CRISPR platform for DNA targeting

A team that includes the scientist who first harnessed the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 and other systems for genome editing of eukaryotic organisms, including animals and plants, has engineered another CRISPR system, called Cas12b. The new system offers improved capabilities and options when compared to CRISPR-Cas9 systems.   In a study published today in Nature Communications, Feng Zhang and colleagues...

New technologies enable better-than-ever details on genetically modified plants

LA JOLLA—Salk researchers have mapped the genomes and epigenomes of genetically modified plant lines with the highest resolution ever to reveal exactly what happens at a molecular level when a piece of foreign DNA is inserted. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS Genetics on January 18, 2019, elucidate the routine methods used to modify plants,...

Anti-GMO sentiment has repercussions for developing world

AMES, Iowa – Anti-GMO sentiment holds back agricultural advancement in the developing world, but an Iowa State University agronomist hopes his research will clarify the scientific consensus and spark wider acceptance of the technology in Africa.   A paper recently published in the academic journal Global Food Security analyzed dozens of previous scientific studies on the safety of...

Indonesia's first GM crop to hit the market

The goverment of Indonesia has approved the first locally developed genetically modified crop which will soon be commercialised in the country.   The biotech sugarcane event NXI-47 which contains the betaine gene was developed by the state-owned sugar company, PT Perkebunan Nusantara XI (PTPN XI).   The gene expressed osmoprotectant compound which was introduced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated plant transformation.   The GM...

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PIONEERING BIOLOGISTS CREATE A NEW CROP THROUGH GENOME EDITING

*From wild plant to crop: CRISPR-Cas9 revolutionizes breeding / New tomato contains more valuable antioxidants*     Crops such as wheat and maize have undergone a breeding process lasting thousands of years, in the course of which mankind has gradually modified the properties of the wild plants in order to adapt them to his needs. One motive...

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How a Molecular Signal Helps Plant Cells Decide When to Make Oil

*Details of mechanism suggest new strategy for engineering plants to make more oil*   UPTON, NY—A study at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory identifies new details of how a sugar-signaling molecule helps regulate oil production in plant cells. As described in a paper appearing in the journal The Plant Cell, the work could point...

ITIF Files FDA Citizen Petition to Prohibit “Non-GMO” Labels

WASHINGTON—To counter false claims and allegations by the Non-GMO Project butterfly campaign, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), the world’s top-ranked science and technology policy think tank, today filed a Citizen Petition to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a regulation prohibiting the use of...

How Bill Gates thinks about climate change, innovation, and the SDGs

SAN FRANCISCO — Bill Gates describes himself as an impatient optimist, and his belief in the power of innovation extends to climate change, where he sees progress to report.   The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is not currently counted among the world’s leading climate change funders. When 29 philanthropists came together to commit $4 billion to climate...

Researchers find “hotspot” regions in the wheat genome for high zinc content, new study shows

An international team of scientists applied genome-wide association analysis for the first time to study the genetics that underlie grain zinc concentrations in wheat, according to *a report published* in Nature Scientific Reports on September 10.   Analyzing zinc concentrations in the grain of 330 bread wheat lines across diverse environments in India and Mexico, the researchers uncovered...

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