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Hier vindt u een selectie van actueel nieuws over life sciences

A new research published in eLife presents transgenic pigs with the ability to digest more nutrients, which could possibly help reduce the pork industry's environmental impact.

The group at the South China Agricultural University added three enzymes to the genome of pigs, expressed specifically in the pigs' salivary gland, allowing the digestion of phytate and non-starch polysaccharides to begin in the mouth.


Source: eLife, 22 May 2018.

Biotech firm Benson Hill Biosystems and seed company Beck's said their 6-year-old partnership has yielded biotech corn that increases efficiency of photosynthesis, leading to higher yields in a range of environments. Benson Hill CEO Matt Crisp did not disclose the organism that is responsible of the photosynthetic trait but he said it makes the corn plant more efficient at converting atmospheric carbon dioxide to sugar.
Farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania expressed their positive opinions toward biotech food, according to a survey. "The majority of farmers from these countries believed that [biotech food] could help increase the quality of life for farmers," says surveyor Ida Tarjem, who adds that farmers would cultivate the crops "if they were available, and supported the commercialization of the technology."

A group of scientists from the University of Turku in Finland found a way to convert solar energy into biohydrogen using green algae photosynthesis. "The research provides important information on how to avoid 'wasting' solar-driven energy in biomass production and how to apply this energy directly for the production of useful bio-products," says group leader Yagut Allahverdiyeva-Rinne.


Source: OilPrice (UK), 13 May 2018.

Researchers from Penn State University report that CRISPR gene editing could help create disease-resistant biotech cacao trees, upon which cocoa beans grow. A gene in cacao trees called TcNPR3, which is responsible for suppressing the plant's disease response, was knocked out using the CRISPR tool.


Source: Pennsylvania State University, 9 May 2018.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India proposed that biotech ingredients, in addition to nutrition information, be clearly stated on all packaged food labels. The regulator said food items should bear a "Contains GMO/Ingredients derived from GMO" label if the food contains at least 5% biotech ingredients.


Source: MoneyControl (India), 8 May 2018

The Department of Agriculture proposed a rule to require food producers to mark biotech ingredients on their packaging. The proposal also stated that the food products may be exempted from labeling if they contain small amounts of biotech ingredients.


Source: The Washington Post, 4 May 2018.

The US Justice Department has granted antitrust approval to a $62.5 billion acquisition of Monsanto, the world's biggest seed company, by German pharmaceutical and pesticide firm Bayer, sources say. Bayer reportedly has committed to divesting seed and treatment assets and to make concessions regarding digital agriculture.


Source: Reuters, April 9, 2018.

US Secretary of Agriculture  recently stated that the "USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests."


Source: USDA Press Release, 28 March 2018.

Monsanto and gene-editing startup Pairwise will develop strawberries or another type of fruit with a longer shelf life that would be among the first produce made via CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology to be introduced into the market.


Source: Business Insider, 27 March 2018.

A partnership between technology and venture company TechAccel and the University of California at Davis aims to develop wheat with an improved yield and higher heat tolerance. Researchers will use synthetic biology and computational protein design for the project. The next step would be 'to employ gene editing to produce a non-GMO wheat with signifiantly improved yield'.


Source: BakeryAndSnacks (France), 20 March 2018.


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