Research

Anxious sweat as a cry for help
Media

Anxious sweat as a cry for help

Plants live dangerously. They are surrounded by predators. But they are not completely at their mercy. Decades of research have shown this. For example, plants emit odours when attacked. This realisation could lead to new strategies for plant protection. However, it is still uncertain whether this will ever lead to a widely used product.

Using Crispr to combat climate change
Media

Using Crispr to combat climate change

In the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper, Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna talks about the opportunities and risks of gene scissors. The tool can be used to specifically treat hereditary diseases, breed drought-tolerant plants and reduce greenhouse gas emis-sions from cows.

It pays to take a closer look
Media

It pays to take a closer look

Pesticides are to blame for an increase in brain tumours in children in the Zürcher Weinland and the Bernese Seeland, according to a study carried out three years ago. Experts commissioned by the federal government have now come to a different conclusion: the results could also have been accidental.

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Global events require adjustments
Research

Global events require adjustments

The Swiss want as much local food as possible on their plates. A desire that is becoming increasingly difficult to fulfil. Farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to protect their harvests. No wonder the level of self-sufficiency is falling.

Science demonstrates the concrete benefits of new breeding methods
Research

Science demonstrates the concrete benefits of new breeding methods

The Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) recognizes the significant opportunities offered by new breeding methods. In a new dossier, the Academy presents five examples of crops cultivated using genome editing, which have high potential for Swiss agriculture. This publication emphasizes the scientific consensus on the use of genetic scissors. The new breeding methods offer numerous advantages for the environment and agriculture.

«Biologicals» – biologically active substances from research
Research Plant protection

«Biologicals» – biologically active substances from research

Modern crop protection products must be safe, targeted and short-lived – i.e. degraded shortly after reaching their target – without leaving behind biologically active degradation products.

Content in German

The great benefits of biotechnology in agriculture
New Breeding Technologies Research

The great benefits of biotechnology in agriculture

Bioengineered crops have been cultivated in many parts of the world for around 25 years. Several publications bear witness to the great benefits of biotechnology in agriculture. The cultivation of the plants has a positive effect on the environment, the climate and yields for farmers.

Drought-tolerant wheat from Argentina
New Breeding Technologies Research

Drought-tolerant wheat from Argentina

Heat waves are posing a major challenge to cultivation around the world. Water shortages and droughts are resulting in heavy crop losses for the agricultural industry. Because droughts will be more frequent in the future, the search for plant varieties that consume less water is a top priority. One drought-tolerant wheat variety from Argentina is showing great potential.

Genetically modified plants contribute to the fight against global warming
New Breeding Technologies Research

Genetically modified plants contribute to the fight against global warming

The large-scale cultivation of genetically modified crops would counteract global warming. American and German researchers come to this conclusion in a study.

Honey bees not on brink of extinction
Research

Honey bees not on brink of extinction

For about 15 years now, the story of alleged colony collapse disorder has persisted in the media, often attributed to pesticides and genetically modified plants. There is increasing evidence, however, that worldwide honey bee populations remain stable or are even growing.

Does the world even need genome-edited plants?
New Breeding Technologies Research

Does the world even need genome-edited plants?

This question is often raised by opponents of modern breeding methods. As is almost always the case: The market provides an answer. And it looks pretty clear.

Climate change: lower harvests starting as early as 2030?
Research

Climate change: lower harvests starting as early as 2030?

Climate change affects the quality and quantity of harvests. According to a recently published study, there is a risk of significantly lower maize harvests as early as the mid-2030s. Africa and South America are primarily affected. However, Europe must also be careful that agricultural production is not neglected.

Productive agriculture helps the climate and biodiversity
Research

Productive agriculture helps the climate and biodiversity

There is a common belief that organic farming is good for the climate and that it promotes biodiversity. However, this notion is increasingly be proven incorrect.

Optimising nature
New Breeding Technologies Research

Optimising nature

The romanticized conception of “natural” is deceptive. Very little of what we eat today developed naturally. “For 12,000 years, people have selected plants based on their characteristics, in an effort to make them edible and more productive,” says Bruno Studer, professor of Molecular Plant Breeding at ETH Zurich. Agriculture has developed through artificial selection.

Insect-resistant SmartStax maize does not harm water fleas
Research

Insect-resistant SmartStax maize does not harm water fleas

Farmers around the world are growing pest-resistant varieties of maize that contain additional genes that protect them against damage caused by insects.

Using CRISPR/Cas9 to fight potato blight
New Breeding Technologies Research

Using CRISPR/Cas9 to fight potato blight

The Nobel Prize-winning CRISPR/Cas method now makes it possible to breed resistant varieties and may reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture.

Seven years of cutting-edge research – with the handbrake on
Research

Seven years of cutting-edge research – with the handbrake on

In its February 5 issue, the “BauernZeitung” newspaper looked at the only facility in Europe where field research involving genetically modified plants can be carried out.

Genetically modified maize – a success story, even in skeptical Europe
New Breeding Technologies Research

Genetically modified maize – a success story, even in skeptical Europe

Europeans are still resisting the cultivation of genetically modified crops – but this doesn’t mean they want to forgo the benefits of these products.

Animal feed: Domestic rapeseed instead of imported soy
New Breeding Technologies Research

Animal feed: Domestic rapeseed instead of imported soy

The protein-rich press residues of rapeseed would be ideally suited as feed for livestock with the help of "genome editing". Instead of imported soy, domestic rapeseed could be fed to animals.

Observing, understanding and improving on nature
Research

Observing, understanding and improving on nature

Years of work go into developing a new crop protection product. It takes more than 10 years to move from the original idea to the market. In many cases, researchers draw inspiration from nature.

Healthy eggplants thanks to Bacillus thuringiensis
Research

Healthy eggplants thanks to Bacillus thuringiensis

Insect pests like fruit and shoot borers pose a significant threat to food security in many regions of the world. External application of chemical insecticides has proven unsuitable. Therefore, the research industry has high hopes for biologics.

When panic collides with knowledge
Research

When panic collides with knowledge

Chemophobia is the scientific term. And it refers to a panicky fear of chemicals. In contrast, the natural world is seen as the source of all good things. From a scientific point of view, this simplified view is nonsense. Synthetic is not synonymous with toxic, as laypeople often think. The dose is decisive for the toxicity of both natural and synthetic substances.