The genomes of Africans and people of recent African descent house a huge amount of diversity that scientists have only begun to explore.
The African Chicken Genetic Gains project is on a mission to bring ‘more productive chickens to African smallholders’. Led by ILRI, and backed by the deep pockets of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Chicken Genetic Gains project aims to improve the genetic makeup of African chickens. The initiative, which is initially being rolled out in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, is part of what the Microsoft founder has called his ‘big bet’ on chickens, which also includes a promise to donate 100,000 of the birds to families and communities in the world’s poorest nations. . . .
Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen has created a chicken with genes from different chicken breeds from all over the world. Now he’s bringing it to America to help diversify our poultry.
We will shortly be hosting a virtual discussion forum on ‘Cattle Genomics in Africa’ and invite all researchers and implementers in this and related fields to participate. The forum will be online (web-based), and open from 16–26 Aug 2016.
Our foundation is betting on chickens. Alongside partners throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are working to create sustainable market systems for poultry. It’s especially important for these systems to make sure farmers can buy birds that have been properly vaccinated and are well suited to the local growing conditions. Our goal: to eventually help 30 percent of the rural families in sub-Saharan Africa raise improved breeds of vaccinated chickens, up from just 5 percent now. . . .
Morris Agaba’s newest passion is the molecular genetics of the giraffe, specifically the genes responsible for the animal’s impossibly long neck and legs—and the highly adaptive cardiovascular system this animal has evolved to manage its formidable biological obstacles.
A new program that will address genetic constraints to dairy production in Ethiopia and Tanzania has been launched.