Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Training in AgBiotech and its Regulations

Training Program for Developing Country Scientists, TERI University, India; August 4, 2009 to August 21, 2009. http://www.teriin.org/
Course coordinator - Dr Vibha Dhawan (vibhad@teri.res.in)


The programme is essentially focusing on agriculture biotechnology, techniques and status of acceptance of new technologies. The course aims to provide a unique blend of theory and practice in biotechnology, environmental and bioethical concerns of new technologies and legal framework for biosafety regulations and risk assessment and management. It also looks at international frameworks to regulate transboundary movements of living modified organisms.

Forms at http://itec.nic.in/form.htm. Selected participants would be informed by the Indian embassies of the respective ITEC/SCAAP countries.

The Government of India will meet the costs of the course, travel and accommodation of the selected participants.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Putting a Killer Crop into Healthy Use: Interleukin-10 from GM Tobacco

When you think of tobacco, what's the first thing that comes to mind? You won't think of health benefits, of course. Tobacco use has been associated with numerous diseases, including certain forms of cancer, bronchitis, emphysema and cardiovascular illnesses. But that's about to change. Scientists at the University of Verona, led by Mario Pezzotti, have developed transgenic tobacco plants accumulating high levels of interleukin 10 (IL10). IL10 is a regulatory cytokine (signaling protein) that plays a central role in mediating immune responses.
Oral administration of IL10 can prevent the onset of several autoimmune diseases. IL10 also has the potential to treat numerous human diseases such as type-1 diabetes and many types of cancer.

The transgenic tobacco plants were able to produce the correct, pharmaceutically active form of IL10. The compound was produced in high levels (up to 37 microg/g fresh leaf), making it possible to use tobacco leaves without the costly and tedious extraction and purification processes. The IL10 gene was specifically expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum of plant cells. The scientists will next test the effectivity of the tobacco-derived IL10 by feeding it to mice with autoimmune diseases.

The paper published by BMC Biotechnology is available at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6750/9/22/abstract

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Biotech Scientists to Meet in Vatican Convened Conference

Some of the world's leading scientists involved in biotech research will gather at the Vatican in Rome in May, according to a report by Nature Biotechnology. The meeting has been organized by Ingo Potrykus, president of the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, on behalf of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The Academy has acknowledged that plant biotech have the potential to benefit the poor. According to the article, participants are expected to issue a definitive declaration and work on a roadmap for science-based regulations for genetically modified crops.

Subscribers to Nature Biotechnology can read the full article at http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v27/n3/full/nbt0309-214a.html

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Indonesian Government and Pioneer Hi-Bred Enter Agreement

For the first time, the Indonesian government will team up with a multinational company to breed and market hybrid rice. DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred was granted access by the Indonesian Center for Rice Research (ICRR) to test and commercialize its rice hybrids in Asia. The hybrid rice varieties will primarily be exported to the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and India. ICRR and Pioneer Hi-Bred signed a memorandum of agreement last Monday at the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Hasil Sembiring, director of the Indonesian Center for Rice Research, said: "It is the government's aim to increase national rice productivity through many strategies, including partnering with private institutions in research and development of hybrid rice." ICCR also plans to collaborate with Metahelix Life Science, India and Advanta International, Australia.

The agreement complements a collaboration DuPont announced last month with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to increase the rate of yield gains and to boost the quality and diversity of hybrid rice.

For more information, read http://www.pioneer.com/web/site/portal/menuitem.5dda3a9104ca5ef086738673d10093a0/ and http://bbpadi.litbang.deptan.go.id/ (article in Bahasa Indonesia)

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Thailand Biotech Patent: Status and Opportunity

Inventions in biotechnology are protected under the Thai patent regime which adheres to international standards. The system provides opportunities for inventors and industries to seek protection for various kinds of biotechnological inventions, ranging from novel biotechnology products to processes. Patents for marker genes, diagnostic kits and pharmaceutical products have been issued over the past decade.

Realizing the importance of protecting intellectual property, Thailand aims to boost the number of patents especially in strategic technology areas. The National Biotechnology Policy Framework (2004 - 2009) specifies that in 2009 there will be at least a 200 percent increase in the number of patents registered in the biotechnology area. Under the agricultural biotechnology category, these patents include those related to fertilizer, plant improvement, animal improvement and bio-control products.

More information available at http://safetybio.agri.kps.ku.ac.th/images/stories/pdf/TH-BIOPatent.pdf or http://www.biotechthailand.com/IndProf/TH-BIO/TH-BIO_0809_IP09.pdf

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Philippine Researchers Develop Food Pathogen Detection Kit

Researchers from the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (UPLB) have recently put into market DNA Amplification System (DASTM)), a detection kit for the presence of the deadly strain Eschericia coli 0157:H, gastro-intestinal disease-causing Salmonella and Staphyloccoccus aureaus. The developed kit can also detect the presence of Eschericia coli contamination, which serves as indicator for the presence of bacteria causing gastro-intestinal-related diseases.

The DASTM kit is pathogen specific, accurate and a highly sensitive system that utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. After binding to very specific primers, small fragments of the DNA segments of the pathogenic microorganisms are amplified into million-fold copies, thus allowing for the detection of the presence of the pathogenic microorganism. The control of pathogens in food production and early detection of microbial contamination are important to ensure food safety and disease prevention. The developed kit, which provides definitive results and does not need for confirmatory tests, can be utilized by the animal industry, food industry, government regulatory agencies, health institutions and quarantine and service laboratories.

The Philippines' Department of Science and Technology together with the UPLB-BIOTECH provided the research grants in the development of this DASTM kits. Last March 17-18, 2009, the product developers conducted a training on the use of DASTM kits. The event was attended by food manufacturers, researchers, food and feed regulators, and technical people from the quarantine and service laboratories.

For more information email dobiotech@laguna.net or visit http://www.uplb.edu.ph/biotech

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FAO Launches New Food Price Database

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has unveiled a new tool to monitor the prices of staple food commodities in 55 developing countries. The National Basic Food Prices Data and Analysis Tool is an interactive database that allows users to monitor retail and wholesale food prices both in local currencies and in dollars. It also allows for price comparisons between domestic and international markets, between different markets in the same country, as well as between countries. The U.N. agency said that the tool was developed as part of its response to high food prices.

Liliana Balbi, senior economist within the agency, said: "The easy-to-use database will be an invaluable source of information for policy and decision-makers in agricultural production and trade, development and also humanitarian work."

The tool showed that although prices of agricultural commodities have fallen internationally, food prices in developing countries have not fallen so fast or at all.

For the complete story, visit http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/10693/icode/ Access the database at http://www.fao.org/giews/pricetool/

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5 PhD Positions at Leibniz Graduate School Systems Biology Lab

The International Leibniz Graduate School Systems Biology Lab on a Chip admits five students once a year. Applications for the program starting at September 1, 2009 should be posted by May 1, 2009 (delivery date).

The program is open to qualified young science and engineering graduates. Applicants must hold a Masters, Diploma or equivalent degree in sciences or engineering with excellent student records. The degree should include an experimental research experience of at least four months. Applications are welcome even if the required degree has not been awarded by the time of the application. It only has to be conferred before entering the program.

A foreign diploma or degree conferred may not always be recognized as equivalent to its German pendant. Admission to doctorate studies in Germany with a foreign degree requires that the foreign degree qualifies the holder for direct admission to doctorate studies in the country where the degree was obtained.

After a selection process including interviews and presentations in June the candidates will be informed of the final decision by mid of July.

website link:
http://sbloc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=29

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BEASISWA: PROGRAM PENDIDIKAN PASCA SARJANA

PROGRAM PENDIDIKAN PASCA SARJANA
KEMENTERIAN NEGARA RISET DAN TEKNOLOGI
T.A. 2009

Dalam upaya meningkatkan SDM di bidang riset iptek yang berkualitas, meningkatkan kuantitas sumberdaya manusia Strata 2 & Strata 3 dan mengoptimalkan penggunaan fasilitas sarana prasarana yang dimiliki LPND yang berada di dalam kawasan Pusat Pengembangan Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi (Puspiptek) Serpong, Kementerian Negara Riset dan Teknologi menyelenggarakan Program Pascasarjana sesuai dengan Keputusan Menteri Riset dan Teknologi Nomor 77/M/Kp/IX/2003 tentang Pembentukkan Program Rintisan Pendidikan Gelar Pascasarjana.

Penyelenggaraan Program ini dilakukan bekerjasama dengan berbagai perguruan tinggi dan lembaga penyandang dana lainnya. Adapun tujuannya yakni untuk memberikan bantuan beasiswa dan kesempatan melakukan penelitian dengan memanfaatkan fasilitas sarana prasarana laboratorium LPND di Puspiptek, Serpong. Pemberian bantuan tersebut masih terbatas pada sumberdaya manusia yang berada di Kementerian Negara Riset dan Teknologi (KNRT), Lembaga Pemerintah Non Departemen yang berada dalam koordinasinya (LPND Ristek), termasuk Lembaga Biologi Molekuler Eijkman, Pusat Peragaan Iptek (PP Iptek) dan Ajang Teknologi Pertanian (ATP) Palembang, Bali dan Cianjur.

Dengan memperdalam subyek-subyek yang relevan di perguruan tinggi, diharapkan kreativitas, riset, inovasi dan invensi para peneliti dapat lebih terpacu. Bahkan dalam tahap lebih lanjut, semua hasil kreativitas, riset, inovasi dan invensi tersebut dapat disebarluaskan dan diadopsi oleh masyarakat luas guna mendorong terciptanya peningkatan kesejahteraan rakyat.

Upaya untuk mewujudkan semua itu membutuhkan partisipasi dan dukungan semua pihak. Kementerian Negara Riset dan Teknologi mengundang sumberdaya manusia yang berada di KNRT dan LPND Ristek agar memanfaatkan Program Pendidikan Pascasarjana Kementerian Negara Riset dan Teknologi ini sebaik-baiknya. Buku Pedoman ini dirancang sebagai panduan dalam penyelengaraan program ini. Semoga bermanfaat

Download Buku Pedoman Pasca Sarjana 2009 :
# Pengantar
# Pedoman Pasca Sarjana

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Komisi Bioetika Nasional

CGIAR Site Updates

FAO: BIOTECHNOLOGY

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