ABS / Animal Breeding / Animal Products / Article / Books and chapters / Chickens / Consumption / Genetics / ILRI / Indigenous Breeds / Intensification / North America / Poultry / Trade / USA

How a ‘Chicken of Tomorrow’ breeding contest turned America’s backyard birds into a giant global industry

New Yorker cover by Tom Gauld (via Pinterest). The following fascinating recent history of the chicken in America is taken from a 2014 essay by Andrew Lawler published in Aeon (check out this online science and cultural magazine, founded in London in 2012, if you haven’t yet): Chicken of tomorrow: How a massive breeding contest turned … Continue reading

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