Editing grapevine in Italy

A vineyard in northeast Italy (from M. Morgante’s Ppt)

CRISPeR Frenzy is pleased to publish the full text of the presentation held on June 6 by Michele Morgante (Università degli Studi di Udine) at the Virtual Workshop on Innovative Biotechnologies and Regulatory Approaches organized by the US Embassy in Rome and USDA.

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Crispy weekend reads

This is an issue for all tastes and interests. Don’t miss (Broken) Promises of Sustainable Food and Agriculture through New Biotechnologies by Todd Kuiken, Rodolphe Barrangou and Khara Grieger; A Code of Ethics for Gene Drive Research by George Annas and other members of the Controlling and Countering Gene Editing in Mosquitoes research project funded by the DARPA Safe Genes program; The Cas9 Hammer and the Sickle by Fyodor Urnov.

German Academies call for new GM rules

Picture: Sisters of Design

The following is an excerpt from the news section of the Leopoldina website. Please note that DFG stands for the German research funding organization.

The Leopoldina, the Union of German Academies and the DFG have drafted recommendations for ensuring science-based regulation of genome edited plants in the EU. These recommendations include the amendment of European genetic engineering legislation.

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Italy to edit quality foods

spaghettiThe research institute CREA is experimenting with CRISPR to improve Italian typical products. The project called BIOTECH is funded with 6 million euros from the Italian ministry of agriculture. Wheat, tomatoes, vines, fruits and more are on the menu, as reported by me in a 6-pages feature published in Le Scienze, the national edition of Scientific American. Continue reading

News review: edited crops in Science and Nature

news reviewThis week the royal couple of science journals have turned  the spotlight on CRISPR’s potential for agriculture. “Genome editors take on crops” and “CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers” are the titles respectively chosen by Science and Nature. The first one is a perspective by Armin Scheben and David Edwards from the University of Western Australia. “Improved crops are urgently needed to meet growing demand for food and address changing climatic conditions”, they write. The global population is expected to rise from 7.3 to 9.7 billion by 2050 and a global increase in crop production of 100 to 110% from 2005 levels will be required. Continue reading