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Hier vindt u een selectie van actueel nieuws over life sciences

Researchers from France and China have developed biotech tomatoes with greater levels of nutrients tied to anti-aging. The biotech tomatoes contain 494% more vitamin E, 94% more phytosterol, 169% more provitamin A, 210% more squalene and 111% more lycopene, all which are thought to have anti-aging properties.

 

Source: FoodNavigator, 16 November 2017.

Researchers at The Ohio State University and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies have developed yellow-orange biotech potatoes that have higher levels of vitamins A and E. According to the study, the biotech potatoes can provide as much as 42% and 34% of a child's recommended daily intake of vitamins A and E, respectively.

 

Source: Seeking Alpha, 11 November 2017.

Cancer immunotherapies unleash the body’s immune system to fight cancer, but microbes living in a patient’s gut can affect the outcome of those treatments, two research teams have found. Their studies, published on 2 November in Science, are the latest in a wave of results linking two of the hottest fields in biomedical research: cancer immunotherapy and the role of the body's resident microbes, referred to collectively as the microbiome, in disease.

 

Sources: Nature, 2 November 2017; Science, 2 November 2017; Science, 2 November 2017.

This month, bags of sliced apples will hit grocery-store shelves in the midwestern United States for the first time. Shoppers who purchase the apples can leave the slices out for snacking, because of a feat of genetic engineering that prevents their flesh from browning when exposed to air. The ‘Arctic apple’ is one of the first foods to be given a trait intended to please consumers rather than farmers, and it joins a small number of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be sold as a whole product, not an ingredient.

 

Source: http://www.nature.com/news/genetically-modified-apple-reaches-us-stores-but-will-consumers-bite-1.22969?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20171109&spMailingID=55323657&spUserID=MTc2NzA0MTExNgS2&spJobID=1281586289&spReportId=MTI4MTU4NjI4OQS2.

The US Environmental Protection Agency will allow release of insects in 20 states and Washington DC. On 3 November, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told biotechnology start-up MosquitoMate that it could release the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis into the environment as a tool against the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Lab-reared mosquitoes will deliver the bacterium to wild mosquito populations.

 

Source: Nature, 6 November 2017.

CRISPR-Cas9 was developed to edit specific parts of the genome permanently. With REPAIR, scientists can target single bits of messenger RNA, which can be transient or even reversed. The edited portion may be degraded over a period of time and the modifications made in the cell will also disappear. Thus, REPAIR dispels safety concerns faced by the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

 

Sources: Science, 25 October 2017; Nature, 25 October 2017; Vox, 25 October 2017.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard granted Syngenta a nonexclusive license to CRISPR-Cas9 technology for agricultural applications, which the company intends to apply in multiple crops, such as wheat, corn, sunflower, tomato and rice. "Gaining access to CRISPR-Cas9 technology will allow us to accelerate the rate of innovation in the development of new plant varieties, and bring novel traits into the hands of growers faster, and with greater efficiency," said Michiel van Lookeren Campagne of Syngenta.

 

Source: AGDAILY, 6 November 2017

Scientists have long been working on rice that can grow in seawater, and finally commercially viable varieties are now being tested. Around 200 rice varieties are under testing near the Yellow Sea coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong province to see which ones perform best in salty conditions. Seawater is pumped into the fields, diluted, and then channelled into the rice paddies. The researchers projected that the rice varieties would produce 4.5 tons per hectare, but one variety already showed promising results by producing 9.3 tons per hectare.

 

Source: Genetic Literacy Project, 1 November 2017.

CRISPR-Cas9 technology can be used to select or suppress certain traits in a plant's genome to create desired effects in the resulting plant, which could revolutionize plant breeding, according to a panel of expert scientists at the recent Borlaug Dialogue conference. "CRISPR-Cas9 is an affordable technology that can help us close the technology gap between the resource rich and resource poor farmers of the world," says Kevin Pixley of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.

 

Source: Seed World, 2 November 2017.

Scientists are developing ways to make biotech rice that produces 50% greater yields with improved photosynthesis. A maize gene, Golden2-Like, was introduced to the rice plant to convert it from a C3 photosynthesis pathway to a more productive C4 photosynthesis pathway, which allows the productivity increase.


Source: The Daily Mail (London), 19 October 2017.

October 2017

The European Citizen Science Association published a policy brief that assesses the potential and challenges of “Do-It-Yourself Biotechnology” (DIYBio) for the progression of Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). It makes recommendations to the European Commission as to how it can integrate DIYBio into existing science funding mechanisms and regulatory directives, thereby maximising benefits for European stakeholders.

 

‘Do It Yourself Biotechnology’ (DIYBio) for open, inclusive, responsible Biotechnology

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