The findings, which have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of 9th September, bear significant implications for the introduction of genetically modified crops in Africa.
The research, which was partly funded by USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation, was triggered by the planned release of insect-resistant genetically engineered cowpea in Africa, where cowpea’s wild relative, Vigna unguiculata var. spontanea, is widely distributed. For the first time with insect pollinators, the scientists used radio tracking to determine the movements of the carpenter bee Xylocopa flavorufa and their implications for long-distance pollen flow.
“Bees can visit flowers as far as six kilometres away from their nest. From complete flight records in which bees visited wild and domesticated plant populations, we concluded that bees can mediate gene flow, and potentially allow transgenes to escape over several kilometres,” explains icipe scientist Remy S. Pasquet.
He adds that for genetically engineered cowpea in Africa, these results indicate that although pollen movement beyond a few hundred meters has a low probability, strict isolation by distance may not be feasible. This research therefore confirms the widely held hypothesis that deploying genetically engineered cowpea in sub-Saharan Africa may mean that an escape of the transgene to the wild cowpea relative is inevitable.
Liz Nganga | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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