Monthly Archives: January 2014

Agriculture can be an ally to biodiversity conservation

7By Karina Toledo

Agência FAPESP – In addition to producing food, services and energy, agricultural pastures have a secondary but equally important role, a role that should be strengthened: the conservation of biological diversity.

Professor Luciano Martins Verdade, of the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture at Universidade de São Paulo (CENA/USP), discussed this topic during the last meeting of the 2013 BIOTA-FAPESP Education Conference Cycle, organized by the FAPESP Research Program for the Characterization, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (BIOTA-FAPESP). Held on November 21, 2013 at FAPESP’s headquarters, the theme was “Biodiversity in Urban and Rural Anthropic Environments.” >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: FAPESP, January 22nd, 2014
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Computer modeling helps to improve the quality and microbiological safety of food

8By Elton Alisson

Agência FAPESP – The foodstuff industries of several countries have utilized a new tool to improve the microbiological safety and quality of their products. Predictive microbiology is a software-based system that uses mathematical models and statistics to predict the behavior of microorganisms in fresh and processed food.

The new method is based on the principle that the ability of bacteria and fungi to multiply in food depends on the properties of the product, such as its composition, acidity, humidity, salt levels and antimicrobials present, in addition to the temperature conditions, relative humidity and atmosphere in which it is maintained. In this manner, the effect of each of these factors can be calculated mathematically using different predictive models… >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: FAPESP, January 22nd, 2014
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The challenges to biofuel expansion

9By Elton Alisson

Agência FAPESP – Recent resolutions by several countries, including the United States, to increase utilization of renewable fuels through 2021 – in addition to the general need to increase energy production and distribution worldwide – should boost global expansion of the biofuels industry in the coming years.

However, the sector must overcome myriad challenges to meet the greater global demand for bioenergy. These challenges include increasing cultivation of the agricultural crops that are utilized to generate biofuels without affecting food production; adapting to the impact of global climate change in agriculture; and competing on unequal footing with fossil fuels, which are strongly subsidized by innumerous countries, including Brazil… >>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: FAPESP, January 22nd, 2014
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Brazilian Agriculture

AG_BrasilBy Gilberto Schmidt

Labex Korea – Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world, with an extensive surface of continuous land, a large supply of fresh water, abundant solar energy, and a rich biodiversity. In the past five decades the country has used its abundance and diversity of resources to successfully become a world leader in agricultural production, including food, feed, fiber and renewable energy.

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GLOBAL POULTRY TRENDS 2013 – Asia Produces One-third of World’s Broilers

39The Poultry Site – Global growth in chicken meat production is slowing down but Asia maintains its share of the total, according to long-time industry watcher, Terry Evans, in the new series of ‘Global Poultry Trends’ for ThePoultrySite in 2013.

Global poultry meat output is expected to amount to 106.4 million tonnes in 2013, according to a forecast made by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Growth has slowed annually since 2010 from around 4.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent this year. Chicken meat output accounts for some 88 per cent of world poultry meat production… >> Continue Reading<<

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Mathematical Modelling of the Dynamics and Control of Salmonella

The Pig Site – Key findings are outlined from a research project carried out at the University of Liverpool which was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and BPEX, as part of a Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering (CASE) studentship.
The aim of the research was to develop mathematical models to understand the dynamics of Salmonella transmission on finishing pig farms in the UK and assess whether farm structure has any effect on this. The aim was to use these models to investigate where control strategies should be aimed.
Two key forms of unit structure (fully slatted and solid floor) were analysed and three models describing Salmonella transmission were developed:
  • Single room, fully-slatted floor
  • Multiple rooms, fully-slatted floor
  • Single room, solid floor
The models identified some key results with regard to on-farm Salmonella dynamics.
A principal finding showed that there is not a single action that can solve the problem but rather, a number of aspects should be targeted… Continue Reading
 
 Source and Photo: The Pig Site, November 28, 2013
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Chimeric Embryos May Soon Get Their Day in the Sun

F2_smallBy Dennis Normile

Science – Last week, a Japanese ethics panel decided that they are, recommending that the government lift a ban on certain experiments that mix human cells with those of other animals. But the scientist who is pioneering this research area and who pushed for an end to the ban, stem cell biologist Hiromitsu Nakauchi of the University of Tokyo, is planning to set up a lab in California, bringing the debate—and the possible benefits—to the United States.

Nakauchi has been pursuing the idea of implanting human pluripotent stem cells into pig embryos genetically engineered to be incapable of developing their own pancreases. These cells could be either embryonic stem cells or, preferably, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. iPS cells derived from a patient’s own skin or other tissue should avoid immune rejection, because the generated organ would genetically match the recipient. If all goes to plan, the stem cells would develop into human pancreases in the pig fetus. (Mouse experiments have shown that pluripotent cells can fill the developmental niche opened by the absence of an organ.) After the piglet’s birth, the pancreas would be harvested and islet cells isolated for transplantation into human type 1 diabetes patients, whose islets either no longer produce insulin or produce too little of the sugar-regulating hormone …. >>Contine Reading<<.

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