Agriculture / Article / Biotechnology / Climate Change / Disease Control / Genetics / ILRIComms / PA

The holy grail in agricultural genetics is within sight: But will it make a difference to feeding the hungry?

Work in the genetic resources program at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (photo on Flickr by CIAT/Neil Palmer). Are promising genetically modified food crops doomed to stay in greenhouses? What about crops whose bits (of bits) of their genomes have been ‘precision edited’ with the help of new genome engineering tools (Talens and Crispr) … Continue reading

Animal Breeding / ASSP / Australia / Cattle / CRP37 / Dairying / East Africa / Ethiopia / Genetics / ILRI / ILRIComms / Indigenous Breeds / Integrated Sciences / Kenya / PA / Project / Tanzania / Uganda

Gates Foundation awards grant to improve dairy cattle breeds and reduce poverty in East Africa

Staff of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) visited a field site of the Dairy Genetics East Africa (DGEA) project in June 2011 (photo credit: BMGF/Lee Klejtnot). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a USD1.3-million grant to researchers at the School of Environmental and Rural Science at the University of New England (UNE),  in Australia, … Continue reading

Animal Breeding / Biotechnology / Genetics

Genetics, genomics and gene modification: What does the future of animal production hold?

Professor David Hume of The Roslin Institute recently reflected on the challenge to meet global demand for animal products whilst at the same time reducing the overall environmental impact. Writing on the Global Food Security blog, he explains how productivity in the livestock sector has massively increased, ‘through a combination of genetic improvement and better … Continue reading

ABS / Africa / Animal Breeding / BioSciences / Biotech / Biotechnology / Film and video / Genetics / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Interview / PA

Saving the world’s genetic wealth: Scientists in Kenya propose plans for first livestock genebank

The indigenous, worm-resistant (and non-wool-producing) red Maasai sheep of East Africa (photo credit: ILRI). SciDevNet reports on a ‘livestock genebank’ that’s needed to help conserve breeds and populations of farm animals, especially the wealth of diversity remaining in Africa and other developing regions, that are fast being eroded through cross-breeding and importations of exotic stock. … Continue reading

Africa / Animal Production / BecA / Biodiversity / Cameroon / Central Africa / Congo / CRP37 / East Africa / Genetics / ILRI / Innovation Systems / Livestock

Molecular study makes a difference to guinea pig producers in eastern Congo

Domestic cavies (or guinea pigs) provide a high-quality meat source with high levels of protein in similar quantity as chicken meat. Here, Brigitte Maass explains how an innovation platform linking cavy producers and other organizations is helping to bridge molecular science with livestock production. An Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ACBF) project (led by the BecA-ILRI … Continue reading

Biotechnology / Environment / Food security / Genetics / Opinion piece / PA / Policy / USA

Greening our meat: A vegan conservationist speaks out, and considerately, on controversial food issues

Vegan and conservationist Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the largest environmental non-profit organization in the Americas, had an interesting response this week to a question about eating meat and genetically modified foods—two of the most durable of the hot ‘foodie’ topics of the North, with vegetarian and carnivore consumers, organic and high-tech … Continue reading

Agriculture / Article / Asia / Biotechnology / Environment / Genetics / ILRI / India / North America / PA / Seeds / USA

‘Nature’ takes a hard look at the ‘messy middle ground’ — the ‘difficult adolescence’ — of GM crops

Cover of a special issue of ‘Nature’ on GMOs, 2 May 2013. The leading British science journal Nature has published a special issue on GM crops: Promise and reality  (2 May 2013). This hub of updated science-based information on GM crops includes feature news stories, commentaries, a podcast and more. ‘Foreign genes were successfully introduced into … Continue reading

Article / Biotech / Genetics / Indigenous Breeds / PA / USA

Of mice (pupfish) and men: Existential matters rising in genetic rescues of endangered species

Bio-repository of livestock genetic material at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan). WIRED Magazine recently published an interesting article, ‘Attack of the mutant pupfish’, on some existential matters rising in attempts to make genetic rescues of endangered species. The author explores an interesting case study of the conflicting stands/approaches of animal … Continue reading