China hopes GM crops will feed its growing population.
Government funding puts Chinese plant biotechnology second only to US
While westerners vacillate about the risks and benefits of genetically modified (GM) crops, China is embracing the technology. A new survey shows that the Chinese are working on more plant biotechnology products than anyone outside North America1.
Chinese research institutes claim to have developed 141 GM plants, 65 of which have been approved for release into the environment. Scott Rozelle, an agricultural economist at the University of California, Davis carried out the survey.
Whatever the potential benefits of genetic modification, environmental and food safety concerns loom large. China has strict regulations regarding the testing of GM crops before release into the environment, but "less has been done on consumer safety", admits Rozelle. "My gut feeling is that most Chinese look to the US for guidance in this area," he says.
Freer regulations in China may be borne out in the figures. China’s plant biotechnology industry is in its infancy compared to America’s yet already has 65 plants licensed for environmental release. Fewer than 50 have been approved in the U.S.
And the developing world’s investment in agricultural biotechnology could be drawing important resources away from research into other farming practices that may be better in the long term, argue GM sceptics.
"Biotechnology may well become another short-term solution to long-term problems," says Jane Rissler of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington DC.
There are other low-cost solutions to problems that GM technologies seek to overcome, Rissler points out. For example, planting different varieties of rice together to combat disease would also benefit from more research in China2.
TOM CLARKE | © Nature News Service
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences