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Monday, 2020/01/27 | 06:03:15

The host range for Aspergillus fumigatus is wide, including mammals, aves, and insecta (stonebrood). This is linked to the significant adaptability of this important fungal pathogen. It is thermotolerant, able to grow up to 70 °C, and astonishingly also remains viable down to −20 °C (1). It is microaerophilic and a halophile; forms extensive biofilms, a problem for antifungal eradication in patients; and has >20 secondary metabolite biosynthetic clusters, some of the products of which have immunosuppressive and cytotoxic properties, such as gilotoxin. A. fumigatus also produces a large number of extracellular enzymes, many of which are allergenic, making this organism the only common human pathogen to also cause allergic disease.

Sunday, 2020/01/26 | 04:58:33

Scientists from the University of Würzburg, Germany and partners are exploring on the capability of modified plants to store more carbon dioxide, which can possibly slow down climate change. Their findings are published in Trends in Biotechnology. Excessive carbon dioxide released through the soil and vegetation respiration that is not absorbed by plants through photosynthesis fuels global warming. The researchers conducted a study on plants with modified metabolism, thus can absorb residual carbon dioxide more efficiently. Initially, they used complex calculations to understand if plants can be modulated to fix more carbon dioxide.

Saturday, 2020/01/25 | 06:45:20

An international team of scientists led by Associate Professor Omar Akbari's Lab at the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) has engineered mosquitoes that stop the transmission of the Dengue virus. The UC San Diego Lab worked with colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in identifying a broad spectrum human antibody for Dengue suppression. The development marks the first engineered approach in mosquitoes that targets the four known types of Dengue, improving upon previous designs that addressed single strains.

Friday, 2020/01/24 | 04:28:41

Since the first year of commercial planting of biotech crops in 1996, more than 70 countries from all over the world have either planted or imported biotech crops. In 1996, the six founder biotech crop countries, the USA, China, Argentina, Canada, Australia, and Mexico, planted these crops in a total of 1.7 million hectares. In 2018, 70 countries adopted biotech crops - 26 countries planted and 44 imported. The total biotech crop area of 191.7 million hectares in 2018 was grown by 26 countries, 21 developing and 5 industrial countries.

Thursday, 2020/01/23 | 03:17:09

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) drew to a close today with the agriculture ministers of 71 nations, thanking FAO and the other International Organisations for developing a concept for the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture, as requested in the 2019 GFFA Final Communiqué. They welcomed FAO's efforts on the concept and call upon FAO's governing bodies to support a process for its establishment. The ministers issed a final communiqué full of pledges to make trade contribute to global food security and help smallholders access larger value chains.

Thursday, 2020/01/23 | 02:51:18

A team of scientists from Denmark, Japan, Austria, and Germany explored on how to ensure that crop plants continue to be productive amidst changing climate. The results of their study are published in Nature Communications. The researchers investigated the plant Lotus japonicus, which had limited genomic changes but is still able to adapt to diverse climates in Japan, ranging from subtropical to temperate.

Tuesday, 2020/01/21 | 04:37:06

Director-General QU Dongyu today personally presented engraved silver medals to colleagues who have served the Organization for 25 years, thanking each for their dedication, determination, engagement and contribution. Short biographical notes were read for each recipient, highlighting the wealth and diversity of experience at FAO headquarters and the agency’s network of regional and national offices.

Monday, 2020/01/20 | 08:22:19

Scientists from Nanjing Agricultural University in China and partners used genome-wide association to reveal genetic variation of lint yield components of cotton under saline conditions. Their findings are published in BMC Plant Biology. The researchers assessed the three main components of lint yield, single boll weight, lint percentage, and boll number per plant, across 316 cotton accessions under four salt conditions for two years.

Sunday, 2020/01/19 | 06:04:43

Researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) used information in the corn's RNA to create models and make accurate predictions of its phenotypic traits prior to the corn's full growth and development. The new information documented in their study can help other researchers understand the mechanisms involved in the plant processes and in the selection of breeding lines with desirable traits without having to go through years of traditional breeding selection.

Saturday, 2020/01/18 | 06:14:44

A research group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led by Christopher Voigt, the Daniel I.C. Wang Professor of Advanced Biotechnology, has moved closer to developing nitrogen-fixing cereal crops.To develop nitrogen-fixing cereal grains, the researchers in the Voigt Lab targetted specific genes in the nitrogen-fixing bacteria that operate symbiotically with legumes, called the nif genes.

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