Crowdsourcing to beat lethal PSA

Scientists at Plant & Food Research are hoping that crowdsourcing knowledge will help them find the answer to the lethal kiwifruit disease PSA.

The scientists have shared the genome sequences of kiwifruit and PSA bacterium online for other scientists around the world to determine the underlying biology of the infection and identify breeding tools that can control the disease.

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NZ-Japan research to unlock health benefits in food

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has announced three collaborative research projects with Japan, which will focus on functional foods. Functional foods are innovative food products or ingredients that provide added benefits to human health and wellbeing beyond basic nutrition.

“MBIE will invest $400,000 in each project over two financial years through the bilateral Strategic International Collaborative Research Programme,” says MBIE’s Science Investments General Manager, Dr Prue Williams.

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Put social ‘good’ on agenda, firms told

Internationally renowned Kiwi entrepreneur and social responsibility advocate Derek Handley sees Tauranga as well placed to embrace an evolving new business model in which doing good is as important as doing well.

The key theme of Mr Handley’s presentation and his discussions in Tauranga was the growing global trend to try and build business models where the product or service models created a significant social impact. That represented an evolution of the older corporate social responsibility model of using a portion of business profit to do good in the community or elsewhere, he said.

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Choice is key in GM debate

OPINION: Agriculture is once again at the forefront of the national conversation about Australia’s future prosperity. Having ridden the mining boom all the way to shore, sectors such as agriculture are being viewed as the next wave of economic growth.

Improved market access through free trade agreements will undoubtedly help drive demand for Australia’s high quality food and fibre, particularly among the booming middle class of Asia.

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Innovation is key to economic growth and competitiveness and is the basis of long term economic prosperity – Professor Lloyd:

Innovation is key to economic growth and competitiveness and is the basis of long term economic prosperity. Innovation is a combination of information, imagination and initiative – and it grows best when industry and higher education collaborate.
Educating Professionals
Even though we’re less than 25 years old, the University of South Australia (UniSA) has created more than 2000 partnerships with industry, the professions and our own peers to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and to build opportunities for sustained economic prosperity.

Forest owners ask govt for ETS crisis meeting

 Forest owners are asking the government to call an urgent meeting of primary sector leaders and iwi to deal with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions blow-out.They say a lack of new forest planting and a looming harvest “bulge” has to be addressed.

“Forests planted since 1990 have contributed to the credit side of the country’s climate change ledger. As these forests are harvested, without any significant offset from new planting, they will increasingly throw the ledger into the red. New Zealand’s lack of real action on climate change will become a stark reality,” says FOA chief executive David Rhodes.

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Biopharma innovators gain accelerator successes

Two innovative University of Auckland medical research graduates are semi-finalists in an international business start-up competition with their new biopharma company.

Last year they won their section of the U.S. hosted, global business plan contest, the Breast Cancer Start-up Challenge with their newly created biopharma company, Mesopharm Therapeutics.  This year they are among an elite group of semi-finalists in another global healthcare accelerator contest.

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Government uses terrorism laws to investigate seed thefts

Lawyers for two employees of a Chinese biotechnology company accused of stealing patented seed corn from companies in the United States are fighting the government’s use of laws established to fight terrorism and espionage to gather evidence against them.

In building the case against Mo Hailong, his sister Mo Yun, and five others, FBI agents used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to secretly place GPS monitors and audio recording devices in rental cars, tap cellphones, and place cameras on utility poles, court documents say. Agents also swept up thousands of documents through electronic surveillance that include pictures, emails and instant messages.

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Impact of insect-resistant GM rice on pesticide use and farmers’ health in China

The economic benefits of insect-resistant genetically modified (GM) crops have been well documented, but the impact of such crops and the consequent reduction in pesticide use on farmers’ health remains largely unknown. Through the analysis of the data collected from the physical examination from farmers in China, we show that GM rice significantly reduces pesticide use and the resultant not only visible but also invisible adverse effects on farmers’ neurological, hematological, and electrolyte system.

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