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Category Archives: Agreso News

Why humans, and Big Macs, depend on bees

In a move that has been anticipated for months, agribusiness corporation Monsanto has taken another step towards finalizing a $66 billion merger with Bayer AG, the Germany-based pharma and chemical firm. On Tuesday (December 13) Monsanto’s shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $128 per share price paid by Bayer for the acquisition. The new entity will represent the world’s…

The next ‘green revolution’ should focus on hunger – not profit

The “green revolution” of the 1960s delivered vast increases in food production, averting famines and political instability across the world. There are now urgent appeals for a second green revolution to make food more sustainable, involving climate-adapted crops (some genetically-modified), healthier soil and reduced chemical inputs. Sadly, incentives on offer for agri-tech firms mean our hopes of…

Engineered honeybee gut bacteria trick attackers into self-destructing

Deadly, fat-sucking mites and wing-wrecking viruses, take note. Specially engineered gut microbes can defend honeybees by tricking their enemies into self-destruction. Rod-shaped Snodgrassella bacteria, common in bee guts, were engineered to release double-stranded RNA molecules that dial down gene activity in a mite or virus. The pest then sabotages itself by shutting down some of its own…

Prosecco production takes a toll on northeast Italy’s environment

The industry accounts for 74 percent of the region’s soil loss every year To help cultivated tomato plants defend against whiteflies, Petra Bleeker of the University of Amsterdam is turning to a wild relative, Solanum habrochaites. It makes its own insect repellants, compounds called terpenes, in glands at the tips of abundant hairs. Commercial tomatoes still…

A deadly, mutating wheat fungus is spreading – here’s how to track it

One of the major diseases of wheat is caused by the yellow rust fungus, Puccinia striiformis, which threatens all major wheat-producing areas of the world. Ominously, we have discovered that the UK population of this pathogen is shifting dramatically, with the emergence of new strains which can overcome some of our most important wheat varieties. We…