Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Future of Agricultural Biotechnology

USDA’a Advisory Committee has prepared a report titled ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Agricultural Biotechnology: The Decade Ahead’ which talks about the advancements made by agricultural biotechnology in the first decade and the future of it over the next ten years. As of now it is difficult to predict which modern biotechnology generated animals or plants we would be able to see in the market in the next ten years but some of the possibilities have been stated in the report and they have been mentioned below: (1) Genetically engineered plant varieties that provide improved human nutrition (e.g., soybeans enriched in omega-3 fatty acids) (2) Products designed for use in improved animal feeds galaxy s3 halterung(providing better nutritional balance by increasing the concentration of essential amino acids often deficient in some feed components, increased nutrient density, or more efficient utilization of nutrients such as phosphate that could provide environmental benefits) (3) Crops resistant to drought and other environmental stresses such as salinity (4) Crops resistant to pests and diseases (e.g., fusarium-resistant wheat; chestnut-blight resistant chestnut; plum pox resistance in stone fruit; various insect resistant crops) (5) Additional crops containing a number of transgenic traits incorporated in the same plant (stacked traits) (6) Crops engineered to produce pharmaceuticals, such as vaccines and antibodies (7) Crops engineered for particular industrial uses (e.g., crops having improved processing attributes such as increased starch content, producing useful enzymes that can be extracted for downstream industrial processes, or modified to have higher content of an energy-rich starting material such as oil for improved utilization as biofuel) (8) Transgenic animals for food, or for production of pharmaceuticals or industrial products (e.g., transgenic salmon engineered for increased growth rate to maturity, transgenic goats producing human serum factors in their milk, and pigs producing the enzyme phytase in their saliva for improved nutrient utilization and manure with reduced phosphorus content).

Biotechnology Ends Your Waiting Time at Doctor’s Clinic

Do you like being kept waiting for your appointment despite the fact that you have reached the clinic on time? Certainly not and to add to your woes the receptionist at the clinic gives the same old answer, ‘Please wait for sometime, the doctor is busy’. In order to overcome this trouble, a new biometric technology has been installed at the University of Manitoba, Canada which would enable orthodontic patients to sign in with their fingerprints. Now the receptionist is out of the picture and all the patient need to do is touch a fingerprint keypad on the front desk and the message directly reaches the workstation of the doctor informing him that the patient is waiting. In case a patient has been waiting for more than fifteen minutes, the doctor would be informed that the patient has been waiting for a longer duration of time. This would certainly end the irritation of patients who are forced to wait for a longer duration of time at the clinic in order to meet the doctor.

Small Farmers to benefit From Agricultural Biotechnology

A recent research undertaken by US researchers has shown that small farmers in South Africa have certainly gained from genetically modified (GM) maize in a similar fashion as that of large scale cultivators. These revelations are truly opposite of what anti biotech activists have said. They say that GM crops would only benefit the rich farmers. Even a recent Mexican study also claims that agricultural biotechnology would certainly help poor farmers. It’s being said that the GM maize would certainly benefit the farmers as the DNA of the maize would be inserted with a gene from the Newcastle virus and chickens consuming that would be able to produce antibodies against the virus. In developing countries livelihood of a number of families depend on poultry and this maize would certainly benefit them and avoid the need for buying expensive vaccines for their birds. Will it act as a boon or a bane? Time will tell.

Get Rid Of Your Pacemaker with Biotechnology

Are you aware that more than 250,000 persons in U.S. get an artificial pacemaker each year but this news would certainly bring smile on the faces of people suffering from heart ailments. A custom designed protein and gene delivery system has been successfully used by UC Davis researchers for restoring the normal heart rhythms in pigs with electronic pacemakers. This certainly gives a hint that scientists are very close to realizing bioengineering which could help in the treatment of more than 2.2 million Americans who are suffering from irregular heartbeats. As per Ronald Li, Leader of research team and associate professor, UC Davis School of Medicine Our study offers positive and direct evidence in living models that bioengineered cells can replace the electronic pacemaker. Our hope is to one day replace electronic pacemakers in people It is expected that this research would offer a permanent and more reliable alternative to implanted electronic devices.

Biotechnology Needs Efforts to Solve World Hunger Problems

Researchers are of the opinion that biotechnology could improve the nutritional content of crops and make them resistance against diseases and insects. The end result would be improved yield of crops fit for both animal and human consumption. Work is also going on molecular farming which would lead to the production of pharmaceutical products in plants and it could revolutionalize vaccination procedures. Until and unless there is an effective exchange of knowledge and experience through partnerships these technologies would not be able to create an impact on world hunger. There is a need for successful partnerships if we would like to make this possible. Some people argue that there are no sufficient private public interactions and enough attention is not being placed with regards to the involvement of in decision making and the role of genomic technologies in tackling food insecurity.

The Importance of Plant Biotechnology

Over the last one decade plant biotechnology has gained importance in the agricultural community. During this time period, plant tissue culture has traveled from the small laboratories and reached the mainstream. Plant tissue culture refers to the collection of ways which are used for growing large number of plant cells in a closely controlled environment. This technique works well as each cell has the genetic information and cellular machinery required for generating an entire organism and this technique could be put to use for producing a large number of plants which are genetically identical to a parent as well as to one another. The culture of tissue, plant cells and organs under aseptic conditions is undertaken in plant tissue culture techniques. An important role is played by these techniques in the production of horticultural, agricultural, ornamental plants and in manipulating plants for improved agronomic performance.

Twenty Thousand Jobs at Dubiotech

A whopping twenty thousand jobs would be created in Dubai when a free trade zone called Dubiotech would be developed for attracting researchers and companies to Dubai by July 2007. People with specialized skills would be recruited in the projects that would be operating in Dubiotech. This area is being set up under the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority. Around three hundred hectares of land has been embarked for this project. It would be built at a cost of around $35.39 million whereas the headquarters and laboratory would be requiring an investment of Dh600 million. A regulatory framework is also being put into place in order to tackle copyright issues and IPRs. As of now sixteen companies have been licensed and another ten are being invited. Looks like Dubai is set to become the next big biotechnology hub.

Biotechnology an Unknown Term to Dominicans

This is something shocking!! Most of the Dominicans have never heard about biotechnology or genetically modified foods. Just 18% agricultural producers are aware about agro biotechnology. Another surprising fact is that the national education system does nothing for creating a pool of professional talent for biotechnology field as the academic curriculum is devoid of fundamental subjects such as physics, biology and biochemistry. The problem is at the roots where professors, academic authorities at the elementary and superior level as well as students have never been exposed to biology, biochemistry and biotechnology. The survey was undertaken by the Centre for Agribusiness and Forestal Development (CEDAF). CEDAF reports said: In general, Dominicans do not possess notions that would allow them to consider past, present and future contributions in the biotechnological field, given that, in general, people are not aware of the existence of thousands of biotechnological products, such as penicillin, antibiotics, wine and beer. Certainly this reflects the sorry state of affairs of Dominican Republic.

Biotechnology and Fashion Industry

Very soon you would see models sashaying down the ramp wearing dresses made from Ingeo which is a fiber made from genetically engineered crop. All thanks to Biotechnology Industry Organization which is trying to use fashion statement in order to rebuild its image. Slowly and steadily biotechnology is playing a pivotal role in the apparel industry which is waking up to its customers’ concern regarding the environment and reliance of the country on foreign oil for making synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester. On the other hand this is a concern among environmental activists who are opposing GM crops of any kind and Ingeo still supports GM crops. Let see how far these clothes go.

Malaysia Goes Biotechnology Way

Malaysia is realizing the importance of biotechnology and for that purpose it has allocated a sum of around RM210 million in its budget for developing its biotechnology sector. Malaysia has plans to acquire technology through the Biotech Acquisition Programme with a grant of RM60 million. Under the Biotechnology Commercialization Fund, commercialization of R&D findings would be undertaken by international corporations and companies. Along with that around RM59 million have been allocated under the R&D for production of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products, genomics and molecular biology and promotion of agro-biotechnology activities. The government is also planning to set up Bio Innovation Centre in order to offer site facilities and equipment for new companies in order to undertake bio-manufacturing activities and commercialization. Some of the other incentives which the Malaysian government would be offering are: First: bionexus companies be given income tax exemption for 10 years, beginning from the first year the company is profitable. Second: after the expiry of the 10-year exemption period, a bionexus company will be taxed at a concessionary rate of 20 per cent for another 10 years. Third: tax deduction equivalent to the amount of investment made in seed capital and early stage financing be given to companies or individuals investing in bionexus companies. Fourth: stamp duty and real property gains tax exemptions be given to a bionexus company undertaking merger with or acquisition of a biotechnology company, within a period of five years. Fifth: buildings for research activities related to biotechnology be given Accelerated Industrial Building Allowance, whereby the cost of constructing or acquiring the building is written off over a period of 10 years.