Category Archives: OGM

Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds

2By Jane Qiu
Nature – A genetic-modification technique used widely to make crops herbicide resistant has been shown to confer advantages on a weedy form of rice, even in the absence of the herbicide. The finding suggests that the effects of such modification have the potential to extend beyond farms and into the wild.
Several types of crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide first marketed under the trade name Roundup. This glyphosate resistance enables farmers to wipe out most weeds from the fields without damaging their crops… Continue Reading
Source and Photo: Nature, August 16th, 2013
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Growers race to save orange from spreading disease

37By Heather Smith

MSN News – Increasingly, orange growers have come to believe that genetic engineering holds the only hope for developing a tree that is resistant to an incurable citrus disease.

 Guy Davies, an inspector for the Florida Division of Plant Industry, checks an orange tree for the insect Asian citrus psyllid that carries the bacterium causing disease, “citrus greening” or huanglongbing, from tree to tree on May 13, 2013 in Fort Pierce, Florida.

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Study shows pig health damaged by genetically modified feed

18By Carey Gillam of Reuters
MSN News – Pigs fed a diet of only genetically modified (GM) grain showed markedly higher stomach inflammation than pigs who dined on conventional feed, according to a new study by a team of Australian scientists and U.S. researchers.
The study adds to an intensifying public debate over the impact of genetically modified crops, which are widely used by U.S. and many other countries around the world.
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Transgenics: A new breed

36Nature – When the first genetically modified (GM) organisms were being developed for the farm, says Anastasia Bodnar, “we were promised rocket jet packs” — futuristic, ultra-nutritious crops that would bring exotic produce to the supermarket and help to feed a hungry world.

Yet so far, she says, the technology has bestowed most of its benefits on agribusiness — almost always through crops modified to withstand weed-killing chemicals or resist insect pests. This has allowed farmers to increase yields and spray less pesticide than they might have otherwise.

Click here to access the complete article at Nature
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Biotechnology: Africa and Asia need a rational debate on GM crops

39By Christopher J. M. Whitty, Monty Jones, Alan Tollervey and Tim Wheeler
Nature – In Europe, scientists, politicians, industry representatives and environmentalists often present genetically modified (GM) crops either as a key part of the solution to world hunger or as a pointless but dramatic threat to health and safety. Neither position is well founded.

Recently, the often shrill debate that has unfolded in some European countries, including France and the United Kingdom, for the past 20 years has been spilling over to developing economies. The government of India, for instance, is considering banning all field trials of GM crops for the next decade — a move that could hurt large- and small-scale farmers by blocking their access to certain crop varieties that have been modified to grow better in local conditions, including types of cotton, soya bean and tomato. Meanwhile, in Kenya, where more than one-quarter of the population is malnourished, the government chose to ban the import of GM food at the end of last year but not GM crop research1. Like similar rulings made in Europe, such decisions seem to be based in part on emotional responses to the technology.

Click here to access the complete article at Nature
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Embrapa’s transgenic soybean produces enzyme to combat the AIDS virus

40Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology – A survey of Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology seeks the development of a variety of transgenic soybean that expressing an enzyme capable of preventing infection by the AIDS virus. Using biotechnology techniques, the legume is producing N-cianovirina enzyme with proven efficacy against the virus, which inhibit the replication of HIV by binding to their oligosaccharides (sugars).

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Fields of gold – Research on transgenic crops must be done outside industry if it is to fulfil its early promise.

35Nature – It was 30 years ago this month that scientists first published the news that they could place functional foreign genes into plant cells. The feat promised to launch an exciting phase in biotechnology, in which desired traits and abilities could be coaxed into plants used for food, fibres and even fuel. Genetically modified (GM) crops promised to make life easier and nature’s bounty even more desirable.

As a series of articles in this week’s Nature explores, things have not worked out that way. The future matters more than the past, but when it comes to GM crops, the past is instructive.

Click here to access the comple article at Nature
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