Articles

Moredun Scientific to develop model of pig respiratory infection

Moredun Scientific has been awarded a SMART proof of concept grant from the Technology Strategy Board to develop an experimental model of the bacterial infection which causes porcine enzootic pneumonia in pigs. Mycoplasma hyopneumonia infection has been identified as the primary contributor to porcine enzootic pneumonia. An experimental model which can mimic infection by M....
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Developing techniques for tuna aquaculture

Swimming around and around in a 20,000 gallon tank at the University of Rhode Island’s Bay Campus are several large yellowfin tuna captured last autumn about 100 miles off the Rhode Island coast. The fish are part of the first effort in the United States to breed tuna in a land-based aquaculture facility to meet the growing demand for one of the ocean’s top predators. ...
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Parliamentary report on carbon footprint of beef and lamb

A newly-published parliamentary report examining how the carbon footprint of beef and lamb production is measured has been welcomed by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX). Sequestration identified as the biggest area of contention While acknowledging the positive environmental impacts that grazing livestock bring, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Beef and...
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Diets with more fruit and veg are not necessarily better for environmental sustainability

We might assume that a healthy diet which is lower in meat and contains more fruit and vegetables would not only be good for us, but would also be better for the environment. But a review article in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society has found that this healthier diet could actually result in higher levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions! If you replace meat by fruit and...
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New US – Australian – Indian research collaboration to produce abiotic stress tolerant cereals

As part of the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, a new research program is being supported by the US Agency for International  Development (USAID) in partnership with The Australian Centre for Plant  Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and Vibha Agrotech Limited to apply transgenic technologies to  enhance environmental stress tolerance...
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Sharks are worth more in the ocean than in a bowl of soup

Sharks are worth more in the ocean than in a bowl of soup, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia. A new   study , published today in   Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation , shows that shark ecotourism currently generates more than US$314 million annually worldwide and is expected to more than double to US$780 million in the next...
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Exploring the Lessons of Johne’s Disease in Cattle, 7th June, Ayrshire

SRUC is holding a spring event for livestock farmers to inform and update farmers on the progress of a research project seeking the best way to address Johne’s Disease or paratuberculosis in Scotland's Cattle. The PARABAN project, now in its final year, has worked with “champion farmers” and their vets who have helped explain their progress with what is a...
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Improving 'crop per drop' could boost global food security and water sustainability

Improvements in crop water productivity — the amount of food produced per unit of water consumed — have the potential to improve both food security and water sustainability in many parts of the world, according to a study published online in   Environmental Research Letters   May 29   by scientists with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the...
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New era of fisheries policy needed to secure nutrition for millions

Securing the critical contribution of wild fish stocks to food and nutrition security in the developing world depends on better governance and management of the fisheries sector. Fish is a key source of animal protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and micronutrients like iron and zinc that contribute to a balanced diet, and is a particularly important food source in many developing countries....
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Why we need to put the fish back into fisheries

Overfishing has reduced fish populations and biodiversity across much of the world's oceans. In response, fisheries are increasingly reliant on a handful of highly valuable shellfish. However, new research by the University of York shows this approach to be extremely risky. The ecological effects of intensive fishing. From left to right, fishing effort increases over time. As a...
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Large-scale edible insect farming needed to ensure global food security

The large-scale production of edible insects is unavoidable in order to continue feeding the ever-increasing global population and providing them with enough animal protein. Insect farming can be compared with mini livestock farming. It is environmentally friendly, does not require much land and produces high-quality nutrients. Furthermore, as a new sector of the food industry, it will...
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Reducing the environmental impacts of fertiliser use

Scientists have demonstrated how improvements in nitrogen fertiliser manufacture and their application could help reduce China's agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by around 60%, by 2030, compared to the current business as usual approach. This emissions reduction represents a 2 to 6% reduction in China's overall greenhouse gas emissions and therefore could be significant in the...
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Flower power fights orchard pests

Washington State University researchers have found they can control one of fruit growers’ more severe pests, aphids, with a remarkably benign tool: flowers. The discovery is a boon for organic as well as conventional tree fruit growers.  The researchers recently published their study in the journal Biological Control. They found that plantings of sweet alyssum attracted a...
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Poultry drug increases levels of toxic arsenic in chicken meat

Chickens likely raised with arsenic-based drugs result in chicken meat that has higher levels of inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future  at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. This is the first study to show concentrations of specific forms of arsenic (e.g. inorganic arsenic versus...
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$4 million international collaboration to improve sorghum productivity under drought conditions

Scientists from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) at The University of Queensland will work with colleagues in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) to address problems common to sorghum growers in many of the globe's low-rainfall regions.   Underpinning the research is a $4 million grant from the Bill and Melinda...
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Campylobacter's internal 'Sat Nav' is key to it's success

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, but it turns out that finding out what makes it such a successful pathogen could be the key to finding new ways to control it. Infection is usually caused by consuming undercooked poultry and once inside it's host the bacteria must navigate their way though thick layers of mucus to reach the cells that line the gut. In...
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Mealworms produce more edible protein per acre than traditional meats

Recently published research comparing the environmental impact of meat production on a mealworm farm to traditional animal farms has found that mealworm farms use similar amounts of energy require but less land per unit of edible protein produced. In addition, mealworm farming produce less greenhouse gases than chick, beef or pork farms. The authors suggest that mealworms and other...
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The loaf of bread that lasts for 60 days

  A company has developed a technology that could produce a loaf of bread that could stay mould free for 60 days. The technology uses the pulsed power of radio frequencies in the microwave spectrum. This treatment has been shown to kill the spores which are leads to mould. In the UK, 32% of loaves purchased are thrown away as waste. It would be interesting to hear what consumers...
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Perigold truffles are getting rarer

Bad news for gourmets - Perigord truffles are becoming rarer. A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, combining climatology, dendrochronology and mycology, has now linked this decline with the warm dry summers of recent years. Average rainfall together with lower summer temperatures are needed to stimulate truffle growth in winter but unfortunately scientists are...
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Animal Health Club Update

The Animal Health Research & Technology Club (ARC) is now several months in and things are progressing well. The first competition, for £4.5m out of the total £9.5m, is underway with first stage applications submitted (the closing date was 5th September). The BBSRC will now undertake an evaluation process together with the industrial Club members (of which there are 12) to...
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Using DNA testing to protect Aberdeen-Angus beef

How far would you go to protect the name and heritage of your product? Well if you’re an Aberdeen-Angus cattle producer, the answer to that is quite far to ensure your product’s name and heritage is not marred by imposters marketing and selling their products as prime Aberdeen-Angus beef. The Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society recently recruited the services of IdentiGEN , a...
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Funding available for fish traceability projects

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is co-ordinating a funding scheme on behalf of the UK inviting applicants to submit proposals that address the issue of fish traceability across the supply chain, in line with EU regulations. Applicants can apply for up to 90% funding for equipment, systems or software which supports the traceability of fisheries or aquaculture products. Applications...
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$8.5M for East Africa dairy development project

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant worth $8.5M to Heifer International, for project work on the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD) project.  The grant will support existing projects in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda and explore possibilities for expansion in Ethiopia and Tanzania. EADD began in 2008 as a four-year, $42.8 million project funded by the Gates...
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Poultry industry asks retailers to recognise cost pressure

It was reported on Friday that in response to the soaring costs of feed being met by poultry producers, the NFU, BPC and BEIC have written to the major retailers in the UK asking them to recognise the cost pressure being met by the industry, and act in a manner that would ensure the poultry meat and egg supply chain are not irreparably damaged. These soaring...
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How many more hens and cows will we need by 2050?

An article on the TruthAboutTrade.org website has highlighted once again the issue of global food productivity versus food demand. The article contains some interesting facts and figures quoted by Jeff Simmons of Elanco during a panel discussion with senior global leaders at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Symposium “Advancing Food and Nutrition Security at the G8...
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