Category Archives: Inspiring Cooperation

Technical Cooperation Project – Genome Analyses and Genomic Selection for the Production Traits in Cattle

0000026354-Logo 40 anosBy Gilberto Silber Schmidt

Labex Korea – Undertake a pilot project that establishes bioinformatics analyses for the de novo sequencing dataset and genomic selection process for genetic improvement of production traits in cattle. This work will be included an establishment of a pipeline for big genome dataset such as de novo sequencing dataset and its application for looking at genetic diversity such as signature of selection. Finally both parties will collaborate to develop genomic selection pipeline for their research herd to estimate genomic breeding values.

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Technical Cooperation Project – Development of technique for utilization of microbes to improve productivity of the chicken

39By Gilberto Silber Schmidt

Labex Korea – Rural Development Administration (RDA) seems to meet required knowledge and constitutes a potential partner to integrate the Applied Biotechnology area for human and animal feed additives, health and welfare.

The bio prospection of Brazilian resources for new metabolites (enzymes) for food and feed application is relevant because Brazil is one of the main animal protein producer and investments in this area could work in favor of a less expensive production and/or more sustainable production systems associated to a healthier and tastier food.

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Technical Cooperation Project – Adaptation and development of structure optimization and energy-saving climate control techniques for greenhouse vegetable production

Italo_Busan_01By Gilberto Schmidt

Labex Korea – Brazil is the largest tropical country in the world and, as such, there is a great climatic and soil variability along its territory. Although protected horticultural production is practiced from southern subtropical Rio Grande do Sul to northern tropical Amazonia, the reasons why protected agriculture practices are adopted differ widely.   A growing interest in producing vegetables under protection is associated with the increasing income and urbanization of Brazilian population and the general concern with more secure food, the need to decrease the use of chemical pesticides and increase the efficiency of water and fertilizer use.

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United Kingdom seeks more research collaboration with Brazil

30By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – On June 14, FAPESP was visited by a delegation from the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC). The objective of the visit was to discuss possible program partnerships and combining research and strategies to promote innovation and excellence in research.
One of the seven member bodies of Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK), the BBSRC invests approximately 400 million pounds sterling (R$ 1.36 billion) in funding for biotechnology and bioscience research throughout the United Kingdom each year.
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Challenges of food production and bioenergy in Brazil

0000026354-Logo 40 anosBy Manoel Teixeira Souza Jr.
Embrapa Agroenergy – In 2050, according to various estimates, our planet will have a population slightly more than nine billion people. The challenge for all of us over the coming decades is to ensure the means for producing food and energy in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the demand from a population with two billion more people than today. Demand this already suffering and will continue to suffer, more changes in its nature than its volume, which results in significant increase of input of water and soil, to name only two of the most used features. These resources need to be sustainable, both economically, as the social and the environmental.
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Sorghum is planted to produce ethanol during the sugarcane off-season

FAPESP – Consumers are never going to notice that in March and April the ethanol found in some fuel pumps at service stations is not the ethanol traditionally produced from sugarcane. The ethanol will have come from sorghum, a plant of the grass family that sugarcane also belongs to. This situation is predicted by researcher André May, from the Corn and Sorghum Unit of Embrapa (the Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research), who is monitoring various experiments related to introducing sorghum into the country’s energy matrix. Since 2007, Embrapa has been working toward developing sorghum crops during the sugarcane off-season. Embrapa plans to launch three new varieties of this grass this year for the production of ethanol.

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Source and Photo: FAPESP, March 2012
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Bio-refineries of the future

By Marcos de Oliveira
FAPESP – The future of ethanol production seems to be more promising than all the forecasts made so far. According to a study by researchers from the University of São Paulo (USP), in 20 years’ time it will be possible to supply the whole of the world’s automobile fleet with ethanol and electricity produced in sugarcane mills. “This can be done by using the ethanol and electricity more efficiently, with more economical vehicles,” says Sergio Pacca, a professor from the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities at USP Leste, in São Paulo, who is responsible for the study, along with Professor José Roberto Moreira, from USP’s Institute of Electronics and Engineering, both authors of the paper “A biorefinery for mobility?,” published in October 2011 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Source and Photo: FAPESP, February, 2012
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Sustainable charcoal

By Marcos de Oliveira
FAPESP - Better known for being used at barbecues, charcoal in Brazil is also responsible for the production of 30% of the pig iron, the metal alloy used for producing the steel used in vehicles, machines, ships, trains, cables and other products. Worldwide, this percentage is less than 1%. Thus, part of the steel made in the country is renewable, unlike the use of coal, which requires the exploration of finite mines, often underground, and in the case of Brazil is almost all imported. Charcoal or coal is essential for supplying the carbon in pig iron. The problem is that around 50% of Brazilian charcoal production, whether for barbecues or for producing steel, is also carried out in a rudimentary way, in a brick-oven, which is highly polluting and looks like an oca [Indian hut] or igloo, called a meda or rabo-quente [hot tail], and often uses native wood. The solutions, including the social solution because the industry often employs children and slave labor, are beginning to appear as a result of research by companies and universities and also the need for technological advances in the production of charcoal.

Source and Photo: FAPESP, November 2011
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Embrapa Researcher optimizes production of transgenic

By Leonel Rocha
Revista Época – The Centers Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology and Embrapa Coffee patented the technique called “Compositions and methods for modifying the expression of genes of interest” that promises to enhance the development of transgenic plants. The technique is based on a study of the seedling gene responsible for defining where, when and under conditions the desired characteristics will be expressed in the plant. The goal is to isolate the genes called “promoters” and make them available in a catalog to be used in production.
Currently, to develop a transgenic plant scientists typically use constitutive promoters. This means that the gene was inserted into the transgenic will be manifest in all plant parts, in all stages of development, regardless of environmental conditions. With this technique developed by researchers at Embrapa, the copy takes energy to produce a protein excessively unnecessary in the whole plant and all the time.
The new technology allows the gene that was inserted; it is expressed only when and where needed. In the case of coffee berry borer, for example, a gene for resistance to pests can be controlled by a promoter specific for the bulk product, preventing the reproduction of the beetle transmitter. In five years Embrapa expected to provide a database of promoters.

Source: Revista Época, May 18th, 2012
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Work of Brazilian researcher is featured in Nature

By Karina Toledo

Agência FAPESP – For more than 20 years, researcher Paulo Mazzafera has attempted to create a naturally caffeine-free variety of coffee that can be grown on a commercial scale. The study was featured in Nature magazine on March 15. Twice before, Mazzafera, full professor at the Vegetal Biology Department at State University of Campinas (Unicamp) Biology Institute, believed that he had reached his objective. The first was in 2004, when in partnership with Maria Bernadete Silvarolla, a researcher at the Campinas Agronomy Institute (IAC), he discovered some plants from Ethiopia that were caffeine-free through natural mutations…..>>Read More<<

Source and Photo: FAPESP, May 2nd, 2012
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