New Gene To Make Plants Heat-tolerant in Rising Temperatures (Agriculture)

With temperatures rising globally, agricultural crops are feeling the stress. Warmer weather can cause a large reduction in crop yield. The Kendal Hirschi Lab at Baylor College of Medicine recently had a patent approved for a gene to make plants more tolerant to higher temperatures. Drs. Kendal Hirschi and Ninghui Cheng discuss the importance of the patent and its environmental impact. … Continue reading New Gene To Make Plants Heat-tolerant in Rising Temperatures (Agriculture)

New CRISPR/Cas9 Technique Corrects Cystic Fibrosis in Cultured Human Stem Cells (Medicine)

Researchers from the group of Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute) corrected mutations that cause cystic fibrosis in cultured human stem cells. In collaboration with the UMC Utrecht and Oncode Institute, they used a technique called prime editing to replace the ‘faulty’ piece of DNA with a healthy piece. The study, published in Life Science Alliance on August 9th, shows that prime editing is … Continue reading New CRISPR/Cas9 Technique Corrects Cystic Fibrosis in Cultured Human Stem Cells (Medicine)

Genetic Study Reveals Ancient Human Adaptation to Agriculture and Climate Change in Middle East (Biology)

The most comprehensive study so far of genetic diversity in the Middle East has given a glimpse into the lives of ancient humans who lived through such seismic events as the development of agriculture and the formation of the Arabian Desert. Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators uncovered signals in DNA that … Continue reading Genetic Study Reveals Ancient Human Adaptation to Agriculture and Climate Change in Middle East (Biology)

Biofertiliser For Better Farms (Agriculture)

While agricultural production around the world struggles with declining soil health, Australian researchers are investigating production of a sustainable organic nitrogen fertiliser made from aquatic cyanobacterial biomass – ideally suited for badly degraded areas reliant on chemical fertilisers. “Many soils are degraded and becoming less fertile. This challenges agriculture to produce sufficient high-quality food to … Continue reading Biofertiliser For Better Farms (Agriculture)

Returning Nitrogen To Soils Without Chemicals (Agriculture)

While agricultural production around the world struggles with declining soil health, Australian researchers are investigating production of a sustainable organic nitrogen fertilizer made from aquatic cyanobacterial biomass—ideally suited for badly degraded areas reliant on chemical fertilizers. “Many soils are degraded and becoming less fertile. This challenges agriculture to produce sufficient high-quality food to feed the … Continue reading Returning Nitrogen To Soils Without Chemicals (Agriculture)

RNA Breakthrough Creates Crops That Can Grow 50% More Potatoes, Rice (Agriculture)

Manipulating RNA can allow plants to yield dramatically more crops, as well as increasing drought tolerance, announced a group of scientists from the University of Chicago, Peking University and Guizhou University. In initial tests, adding a gene encoding for a protein called FTO to both rice and potato plants increased their yield by 50% in field tests. The plants grew … Continue reading RNA Breakthrough Creates Crops That Can Grow 50% More Potatoes, Rice (Agriculture)

New Technique Reduces Nicotine Levels, Harmful Compounds Simultaneously in Tobacco (Agriculture)

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a new technique that can alter plant metabolism. Tested in tobacco plants, the technique showed that it could reduce harmful chemical compounds, including some that are carcinogenic. The findings could be used to improve the health benefits of crops. “A number of techniques can be used to successfully … Continue reading New Technique Reduces Nicotine Levels, Harmful Compounds Simultaneously in Tobacco (Agriculture)

Continuous Activation of Immune Response Mediated by Gene Ne2 Results in Hybrid Necrosis in Wheat (Agriculture)

Wheat is one of the most important food crops in the world. Hybrid necrosis often occurs in the process of wheat improvement, which seriously hinders the combination of superior traits among different genotypes of wheat. In the 1960s, scientists demonstrated that the hybrid necrosis in wheat was controlled by a pair of complementary genes, Ne1 and Ne2. However, … Continue reading Continuous Activation of Immune Response Mediated by Gene Ne2 Results in Hybrid Necrosis in Wheat (Agriculture)

Protein Crop’s Potential Unlocked By Deciphering Anti-nutrient Biosynthesis (Agriculture)

Faba beans are an excellent source of food protein, but about 4% of the world’s population are afflicted by favism, which renders them sensitive to the faba bean anti-nutrients vicine and convicine. Now, an international research team has identified the VC1 gene as responsible for the production of these compounds. Faba beans have actually been … Continue reading Protein Crop’s Potential Unlocked By Deciphering Anti-nutrient Biosynthesis (Agriculture)