Genetics

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Report: Gene-Hacking Plants and Animals Could Fight Climate Change

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-24 Thu 12:17
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Feed Me, Seymour

When we think of geoengineering the environment to counteract global climate change, we typically conjure the image of massive projects like blocking out sunlight.

But a new report suggests that a biological approach to geoengineering — gene hacking the DNA of plants and animals to curb carbon emissions — could be a far more useful approach, according to Axios. In other words, the idea is that we need to alter the entire biosphere to make up for the damage humanity has done to the planet.

Carbon Sinks

The report, which was published this month by a science policy think tank called The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, lays out three ways that we might gene-hack our way out of climate change.

Scientists Gene-Hacked a Pest Caterpillar’s Eggs to Self-Destruct

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-24 Thu 10:10
1522

Planned Obsolescence

To protect crops from the pesky fall armyworm, a caterpillar that plagues farmers around the world, a team of scientists altered its DNA so that any eggs it lays will self-destruct.

Unfortunately, the end result isn’t the dazzling explosion we’d hoped for. Rather, Wired reports, the caterpillar eggs are so overloaded with certain proteins that they’re blocked from ever developing or hatching, nipping the invasive species’ growth in the bud. Oxitec, the biotech company that developed the new worms — along with similar mosquitoes in the past — is already running small tests on its pesticide-free approach to crop protection.

“Armageddon-like”

The fall armyworm can pose a major problem for farmers around the world but especially in North America, where it devours crops like corn, rice, and sorghum, Wired reports.

Texas A&M entomologist and armyworm expert Ashley Tesselow told Wired that “entire fields can be destroyed in just a matter of days if not controlled. These ‘Armageddon-like’ outbreaks do not occur every year, but can result in complete yield loss.”

Gene editing as the next gen plant breeding tool for breeders

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-21 Mon 09:58
1428

The basis of plant breeding is the availability of trait variation and diversity in different crops, that can be brought together into a variety or hybrid with multiple superior qualities or characteristics. Plant breeders have been collecting wild variants of different crops for transferring better…

Gene Editing as the Next Gen Plant Breeding Tool for Breeders

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-18 Fri 12:37
1409

The basis of plant breeding is the availability of trait variation and diversity in different crops, that can be brought together into a variety or hybrid with multiple superior qualities or characteristics. Plant breeders have been collecting wild variants of different crops for transferring better traits from wild to domesticated varieties.

Utrecht scientists discover fast-forward plant improvement technology

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-17 Thu 09:10
1378

Utrecht scientists demonstrates a new, non-GMO technology to develop new crops at a fraction of the costs of traditional breeding. By engineering the genes of bacteria that surround the plants the scientists obtained the same outcome as adjusting genes from the plant itself. They publish their findings…

Comparison of a hundred tomato varieties' genetic sequences

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-20 Thu 05:13
1084

Tomatoes come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes and flavors—and a new study uses state-of-the-art DNA-sequencing technology to finally trace the genetic underpinnings of these differences. The comparison of 100 tomato varieties' genetic sequences reveals more than 230,000 variations within their DNA. Understanding…