GM/Biotech Crops Report – October 2017

10th October 2017
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GM/Biotech Crops Monthly Report October 2017



UK scientists edit human genome

By using CRISP-R editing to turn off a gene is the simplest way to determine what it does and researchers at the Crick Institute in London are using this technique on redundant human eggs in the hope of improving IVF success. The gene they have disabled seems to be responsible for the formation of the blastocyst in the very early days of development. More

Pic Source: ZEISS

Scientists engineer a super-antibody to fight HIV

Some patients with HIV develop very effective antibodies to fight the disease and now a team composed of the company Sanofi and the US National Institute of Health have combined three of these effective antibodies into one treatment that seems to offer control of 99% of HIV strains. More

Pic Source: AJ Cann

White Blood Cells CRISP-R editing used to correct human genetic disorder

Beta thalassemia is a blood disorder caused by a single point mutation where ‘A’ becomes ‘G’ and a team in China have successfully edited it back to ‘A’ in diseased embryos that were not implanted. That will be the next stage.  More

Pic Source: Meowlody

A cure for male sterility

Crosses between indica and japonica subspecies of rice are normally sterile but a Chinese team have used RNA interference to restore fertility. More

Pic Source: Mark Usher


diamondback moth Diamondback moth trials in New York

Engineered moths developed by Oxitec will be released in New York State to interact with the wild population before the onset of winter kill. The engineered moths carry a gene that prevents offspring from successfully developing in to adult moths and thus can reduce the population and thus the damage that they cause. More

Pic Source: Rothamsted Research

Plant-derived Zika virus vaccine

Scientists at Arizona State University have produced a vaccine effective against Zika virus in tobacco plants and the vaccine has been effective against microcephaly in mice. More

Pic Source: Wellcome Images

Bee Honey bees saved by Monsanto

One of the possible causes for a decline in bee populations is the Varroa mite that can be a serious parasite of bees in hives. Monsanto has developed a product that is fed to the bees in sugar syrup which silences essential genes in the mite through RNA interference. Field trials will be conducted this year (2017) throughout bee-keeping areas in North America.  More

Pic Source: Rob Gallop

Scientists shed light on photosynthesis

A team from Arizona and Pennsylvania State Universities have identified what they think is the ancestral structure of the molecules that trap light to power photosynthesis.  More

Pic Source: Photon-de


 Cabbage Bt cabbage resists diamondback moths

The Chinese Academy for Agricultural Science has successfully incorporated the Bt gene into cabbage plants and the next step is to breed this trait in to commercial varieties. More

Pic Source: Via Tsuji


Dwarf oat variety fights cholesterol

Researchers in Australia have developed a variety of oats with high levels of beta glucans in it. Beta glucans is a natural sugar that helps prevent the reabsorption of cholesterol. The variety (Kowari) has the added benefits of higher yields and better disease resistance than current commercial varieties. More

Pic Source:BGZ Olson

Endocrine Disruptors Glyphosate is not an endocrine disruptor

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has completed its review of glyphosate and concluded that there is no evidence of endocrine disruptor activity:

Pic Source: Environmental Illness Network


There is an awful lot of mosquitoes in Brazil

A new batch of 2 million GM mosquitoes is due to be released in Brazil to help reduce the population of mosquitoes that transmit Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya diseases. The effectiveness of the programme is not thought to be seen for 3 – 5 years:

Pic Source: Sanofi Pasteur

Tomato (2) CRISPR-editing breaks the yield barrier

A team at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory have edited the tomato plant genome to generate a variety of lines with variations in fruit size, plant shape and branching architecture. By selecting appropriate traits they hope to increase the yield potential of tomatoes and claim that the technique should be applicable to all crops. More

Pic Source: Photon-de


EU Court sees sense

An EU Court has ruled that prejudice against GMOs is not supported by scientific evidence and this must surely be a step towards embracing this technology that has been in use in other parts of the world for quite some time now. More

Pic Source: Cedric Pulsney


EU Court of Justice

Whitefly Whitefly-resistant lettuce

Scientists have successfully bred an RNAi plasmid into lettuce that targets an ATPase enzyme in whiteflies and test have shown a mortality rate of 84-98% of whiteflies feeding on the transformed lettuce. Are the 2 – 16% that survive carrying a resistance gene? .  More

Pic Source: Dan Thrombs



  • • MS11 – oilseed rape with tolerance of glufosinate granted unregulated status in America.
    • DAS81418 x DAS44406 – soybean with Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate, glufosinate and 2,4-D approved for food, feed and environment use in Argentina and for food use in South Korea.
    • MON87427 x MON89034 x TC1507 x MON87411 x 59122 – maize with Colepoteran and Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate and glufosinate approved for feed use in South Korea.
    • New stacked event – MON87427 x MON89034 x MIR162 x MON87411 – maize with Coleopteran and Lepidopteran insect resistance and tolerance of glyphosate approved for food and feed use in South Korea


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