Biotech in the Blogosphere

India’s Northern Voices Online (NVO), writes, “Animal Cloning may prove to be boon for Dairy Sector.” NVO goes on to explain that,

“India is the world?s largest milk producer with 104.9 million tonnes milk production per year. Milk production in India is growing at 4% per year, and at present India contributes 15% of the total global milk production. Out of this, 55% is contributed by buffalo. Though per capita availability of milk in India has increased from 120 grams in 1960 to 241 grams per day in 2005-2006, demand for milk is increasing day by day owing to increase in population and individual income. In 2008 it was 104.9 million tonnes which has already been achieved. The projected milk demand in India by 2010, 2015 and 2020 will be 120, 140 and 170 million tonnes.”

Furthermore NVO writes,

“India has the largest cattle and buffalo population in the world, to the tune of about 180 million and 85 million respectively. This, more than being a productive resource, is causing huge pressure on our limited fodder reserves. Already there is a shortage of 30% fodder for domestic animals. The land for grazing and fodder production which is only 9% of total agriculture land, is getting constricted day by day. In this situation, the only solution to increase our dairy production, is to scientifically control the population of animals and upgrade them for better quality and more quantity of milk and meat per animal.”

That means it’s time for cloning.

For more information on cloning check out

Moving from animals to plants,

the blog, War on You, writes that,

“Britain is planning to spend up to EUR115m on support for genetically modified crops for the world?s poor. A new white paper shows the government is committed to dramatically increasing spending on high-tech agriculture in the next five years, much of which will be on GM crop research.”

And that,

“The plans are delicate because Britain has not allowed any GM crops to be grown commercially at home. The move to support the development of high-tech food for Africa is deemed as a way not only to reduce poverty but also to gain acceptance for GM foods in Britain.”

Now from high-tech food to high-tech fuels:

Joanna Schroeder writes, on, Synthetic Biology for Next-Generation Biofuels about the 2009 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

She listened to the Webinar on Synthetic Biology where several leading advanced biofuel companies discuss the state of their technology development, their use of synthetic biology, and their plans for bringing products to market.

Listen to the Webinar for yourself .

And last but not least, Science magazine published, Beneficial Biofuels--The Food, Energy, and Environment Trilemma.

The New Republic’s blog, The Vine, had this to say:

“Looking at things through this lens, their conclusion was that biofuels can still be produced in large quantities, without having adverse effects on land use or food prices, but only if they're tightly regulated and come from a few specific sources:

  • Perennial plants grown on degraded lands abandoned from agricultural use
  • Crop residues
  • Sustainably harvested wood and forest residues
  • Double crops and mixed cropping systems
  • Municipal and industrial wastes”

BIO’s own Biofuels and Climate Change blog concluded:

“The question will be whether anyone invests in these technologies or in additional biofuel production at all, given the current economic and social climate in which biofuel companies are operating. One possible factor in choosing the best biofuels ought to be how soon they can become a reality and whether they can be improved from there.”

Stay tuned for next week’s edition of Biotech in the Blogosphere.