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Hier vindt u een selectie van actueel nieuws over life sciences

Hybrids between the indica and japonica subspecies of rice (Oryza sativa) are usually sterile, which hinders the use of heterosis in the inter-subspecific hybrid breeding. The complex locus Sa comprises two adjacently located genes, SaF and SaM, which interact to cause abortion of pollen grains carrying the japonica allele in japonica-indica hybrids. In this study, Yongyao Xie of the South China Agricultural University aims to restore male fertility in indica-japonica hybrids via silencing of SaF or SaM.


Source: Crop Biotech Update, August 2017.

Biotech moths will be released this summer in upstate New York as part of a field trial. The biotech male diamondback moths created by Oxitec possess a "time bomb" gene that kills offspring, thereby reducing the need for pesticides in the fight to control the insects, which have caused billions of dollars in crop damage.


Source: Scientific American online, 25 August 2017.

A vast array of technologies are rapidly developing and converging to fundamentally change how research is performed, and who is able to perform it. Gene editing, DNA synthesis, artificial intelligence, automation, cloud-computing, and others are all contributing to the growing intelligence and connectivity of laboratories. This development and its implications is describer by Garrett Dunlapp and Eleonore Pauwels in the Wilson Center's Brief of September 2017: The Intelligent and Connected Bio-Labs of the Future: Promise and Peril in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

A group of scientists at ETH Zurich has developed a multinutrient biotech rice that could help reduce micronutrient malnutrition. The rice has increased levels of iron and zinc plus a significant level of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.


Source: Futurity, 8 August 2017.

Complicated labeling regulations in the US are keeping AquaBounty Technologies' FDA-approved biotech salmon from reaching the marketplace, although 5 tons of the fillets have been sold in Canada, according to the company. Eric Hallerman, a fish genetics expert at Virginia Tech, said he expects to see more biotech animals on shelves across the world in the future.


Source: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model), 4 August 2017.

San Diego-based biotech firm Cibus Global has plans of launching its herbicide-resistant biotech canola strain in Canada after raising $57 million in a Series B funding round. The company also intends to introduce the biotech canola in China, Europe, and Australia, while adding more specialized traits to canola and to other crops.


Source: Xconomy, 3 August 2017. 

An international team of researchers has used CRISPR–Cas9 gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in dozens of viable human embryos. The study represents a significant improvement in efficiency and accuracy over previous efforts.


Source: Nature News, 2 August 2017.

Researchers have developed a biotech camelina that could be an alternative source of omega-3 oil. A land-based source for the vital nutrient omega-3 would reduce the need to extract the oil from fish, which has led to overfishing.

Source: Rothamsted Research (UK), 26 July 2017.

Australian dairy farmers report biotech ryegrass offers greater feed efficiency for their cattle and also increased milk production. Field trials suggest that the extra milk production increased profits from the high-energy ryegrass by an additional $450 to $750 per hectare.


Source: The Weekly Times (Australia), 21 June 2017.

National security community examines the risks and benefits of technology to quickly spread genetic modifications.


Source: Nature News, 21 July 2017.

Shell International Exploration has been granted exclusive development and licensing rights for SBI BioEnergy's biofuel technology that converts waste oils, greases and sustainable vegetable oils into diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. The companies agreed to work together to demonstrate the technology's potential and the possibility to scale it up for commercial application.


Source: Biofuels Figes, 18 June 2017.


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