Consultation could open door to gene edited crops

first_imgSource: Getty ImagesThe government has opened a consultation on changing the law to enable the gene editing of crops.The gene editing process, which alters the DNA of organisms, was previously restricted in the UK according to EU law.Unlike genetically modified (GM) crops, which are also currently banned in the UK, gene edited (GE) organisms do not contain DNA from different species. Instead, gene editing involves making precise changes to DNA to produce changes over time.Announcing the 10-week consultation, George Eustice, environment secretary, said: “Gene editing has the ability to harness the genetic resources that mother nature has provided, in order to tackle the challenges of our age.“This includes breeding crops that perform better, reducing costs to farmers and impacts on the environment, and helping us all adapt to the challenges of climate change.”Eustice added that now the UK has left the EU, it was “free to make coherent policy decisions based on science and evidence”.The consultation will seek input from academia, environmental groups, the food and farming sectors and the public, said Defra. Depending on the outcome, primary legislation to allow gene editing could then be put forward to parliament.The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) welcomed the consultation, saying it supported the use of technological solutions to increase the competitiveness of the UK supply chain.“We previously urged the government to launch this consultation to ensure that all the tools needed by our industry would remain on the table for consideration,” said Kate Halliwell, chief scientific officer for the FDF.However, Halliwell added a note of caution regarding trade implications.“Divergence from European regulations could impact trade to the EU and also needs to be considered by government in parallel to the clear opportunity such a technology presents,” she said.The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) also reacted positively to the government announcement, with research director Susannah Bolton describing the consultation as “a positive step forward for the UK”.“Gene-editing is a potentially vital technology for agricultural innovation,” she added.“AHDB considers that all technologies that can increase the efficiency of crop production and provide promising economic, environmental or consumer benefits should be fully appraised and evaluated, with the objective of reaching scientifically informed and evidence-based outcomes.”Robin May, chief scientific advisor for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said GE foods would only be permitted to be marketed if “they are judged to not present a risk to health, not to mislead consumers, and not have lower nutritional value than existing equivalent foods”.“The UK prides itself in having the very highest standards of food safety, and there are strict controls on GM crops, seeds and food which the FSA will continue to apply moving forward,” May added.last_img read more

‘Roger is Roger’ – Djokovic not underestimating ageless great

first_img“I mean, Novak also has gone on all these runs like I did for 10 years. He did the same for the last 10 years. It helps when you start the year off with a bang. We were able to do that quite a few times.”Djokovic insists his record over Federer at the Slams since 2012 doesn’t tell the full story, pointing to their classic Wimbledon final last year.In that memorable fight, the Swiss had two match points and was one shot from victory.“It’s not like I’ve been dominating the match-ups. I’ve had success against him, in Grand Slams in particular. But Roger is Roger,” he said.“You know that he’s always going to play on such a high level, regardless of the surface.“He loves to play these kind of matches, big rivalries, semis, finals of Grand Slams. I mean, he’ll probably confirm that that’s probably the biggest reason why he’s still competing.”Federer goes into Thursday’s blockbuster on Rod Laver Arena after playing 14 gruelling sets in his last three matches, but insisted “I feel pretty good right now”.Read Also:Champion’s mindset propels Halep into Aussie Open semi-finalsHe is also under an injury cloud after a rare medical timeout midway through his quarter-final for a groin strain which hampered his movement. He dropped two sets after comfortably taking the first, before rallying to come through in five.“I don’t know if you can call it an injury. It’s just pain and problems,” he said afterwards.“Good nights of sleep, doctors, physios. Hopefully we’ll find out that it’s actually nothing bad.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 “What he did (against Sandgren) was amazing. He showed me he’s one of the best players of all time. I mean, he never gives up. When it matters the most, he’s focused and he plays his best tennis,” said the world number two. “He’s a great fighter. Obviously I have lots of respect for him.” Federer and Djokovic have dominated the Australian Open for years with the all-conquering pair sharing 12 of the last 14 titles. Djokovic is the defending champion but Federer won in 2018. – ‘Pain and problems’ – “I think conditions suit us well here. Probably something to do with court speed, feeling comfortable down here,” said world number three Federer, who is gunning for a 21st Major crown. Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?10 Phones That Can Work For Weeks Without Recharging10 Awesome TV Series That Got Cancelled Way Too SoonYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better Roger Federer continues to play at a high level despite being 38center_img Loading… Novak Djokovic is ever respectful of “great fighter” Roger Federer, but the Serb goes into their Australian Open semi-final as clear favourite after beating the Swiss maestro in every Grand Slam meeting since Wimbledon 2012. The pair enjoy one of world sport’s greatest rivalries and will be facing each other on Thursday for a 50th time stretching back to 2006. Djokovic leads 26-23. Novak Djokovic has the edge over Roger Federer in recent Grand Slams While Federer won their last clash at the ATP Finals in November, the Serb has a psychological edge at the Slams, beating him in all five showdowns since losing in the All England club semis eight years ago. Sixteen-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic has also been in fine touch at Melbourne Park as he targets a record eighth title, dropping just one set en route to the last four. In contrast, Federer has lived dangerously, two points from defeat against John Millman in the third round and incredibly saving seven match points in his quarter-final against Tennys Sandgren. Djokovic pointed to Federer’s heroics in that epic as to why he can never be written off, despite being 38 and in the twilight of his career.Advertisementlast_img read more

St Lawrence Island assistance centers offer state aid for storm repairs

first_imgDHSEM employees assist residents with applications to receive State assistance for damages to their homes caused by the 2016 New Year’s Eve Bering Sea storm. (Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM)The Department of Homeland Security and emergency management, or DHSEM, set up assistance centers on St. Lawrence Island after Governor Bill Walker issued a disaster declaration almost two weeks ago.Listen nowDownstairs in the City office building where community bingo is normally played, people were waiting to fill out forms for the damage their houses sustained during the destructive Bering Sea winter storm that hit in the final days of 2016. One local elder, who had already completed her application, showed pointed out the home she’s lived in for over fifty years.Barbara Kogassagoon’s house is a short ATV ride away from the airstrip and an even shorter ride from Savoonga’s City office building. Her house only stands out from the others because of its unconventional front door.“My outside door, it came off. The nails came off, and my son was planning to put it back, but the yard cleaners threw it away, so I’m using a little tarp out there,” Kogassagoon said. “It’s getting worn out, so my living room gets so cold when it gets windy.”Kogassagoon’s home was one of more than thirty buildings in Savoonga that were damaged by the New Year’s Eve storm. Seven of her windows were broken, the outside stairs shifted, and the wind almost caused the house to tip over.Kogassagoon said it’s difficult for her to maintain the four-bedroom space that she shares with her nine grandchildren.“I’m getting old, so it’s kind of hard for me. I wish I was young, I would get a business and pay for things.” Kogassagoon choked up as she said, “My husband and I used to pay everything; ever since he died, it’s kind of hard for me.”Kogassagoon’s home was one of over thirty buildings that were damaged by the latest Bering Sea storm. Her front door was ripped off, and now, a tarp replaces it. (Photo: Davis Hovey, KNOM)The 90-year-old grandmother built this house with her husband, and she is hopeful that the State can provide the assistance she needs to keep her home in good condition and repair the damages.John Ramsey with DHSEM is part of the eight-man team running assistance centers in Savoonga and Gambell. He says their goal is to determine what the State can provide for identified residents who were affected by the late 2016 storm.“We’ll get their home address, all the pertinent information, what kind of damages did they have to their home, any losses we put down on that application. At the time we take that application, we have verifiers that come and do the inspections,” Ramsey explained, “and they will inspect the home and get an idea of what the cost will be. That’s part of making a decision on all of the damages that happened because of the storm and… (on what properties are) eligible for assistance.”Savoonga’s mayor, Myron Kingeekuk, is busy helping his fellow community members fill out paperwork and schedule appointments for the verifiers to visit their homes. He approximated 20 people have already come in as of Friday, but he said they’re behind schedule.Regardless of how many people have applied, Ramsey said the DHSEM team is scheduled to stay in Savoonga through the beginning of this week.“We’re still going to be here until Tuesday, and also, we are putting information out that people can call in by phone. We encourage them to call our office and take that application, and we’ll have our verifiers do that. So, if they can’t make it in, they can call in,” Ramsey reiterated.If the State is unable to meet Savoonga’s needs, then Ramsey says workers from Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster, or VOAD, could also provide assistance. Ramsey expects the State, and any other involved agency, will arrive in Savoonga to start home repairs in about a month.last_img read more