Agriculturists welcome news that wheat’s genetic code cracked

U.S. and international wheat breeders said Friday publication of the gene map of wheat could eventually help in developing beneficial new varieties, but cautioned that cracking wheat’s complicated genetic code is far from completed.

British researchers working with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium on Friday released the first version of the wheat genome, a step toward a fully analyzed map that should help wheat breeders develop varieties that can yield more despite drought or disease.

“This is significant progress,” said Kellye Eversole, executive director of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC). “It is a very useful contribution towards the final goal of a genome sequence-based platform for wheat breeding. While we are nowhere near cracking the genetic code and far from having all of the information needed to understand the wheat genome, we are moving forward…”

The IWGSC was established by a group of plant scientists, breeders, and growers to sequence the highly complex wheat genome. Wheat has been viewed as all but impossible to sequence because of its sheer size.

Like all plants, wheat has far more complex DNA than animals. It is made up of 17 billion base pairs of the chemicals that make up DNA — five times more than the human genome.

The public release of the wheat genome data should provide a foundation to identify genetic differences between wheat varieties, wheat breeding experts said. Much more work remains to be done to discover what the genetic data means.

Lots of hard work ahead. Needless to say, climate change only adds to the questions needing to be asked and answered.

Assuring that artificial limitations are not imposed by profiteers or Luddites will probably consume a certain amount of time.

News Corp/Rupert Murdoch wants a PPV online news cartel


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Media giant News Corp. is holding talks with other newspaper publishers on forming a consortium that would charge for news online and on portable devices, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The newspaper said News Corp.’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Miller, is believed to have met with representatives of The New York Times Co., Washington Post Co., Hearst Corp. and Tribune Co., publisher of The Los Angeles Times…

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said earlier this month he would begin charging readers of online versions of his newspapers in the coming year.

News Corp already charges for its Wall Street Journal website and claims it is the most successful paid news site on the Internet.

Other Murdoch papers include the New York Post, The Times of London, the Sun and The Australian, among others.

Journalism Online, a company launched in April which seeks to help news organizations make money on the Web, announced last week that more than 500 newspapers and magazines have agreed to join the venture as affliliates.

It said a payment platform would go online in the fall which would allow subscribers to access paid content at the websites of the affiliates using a universal Journalism Online account.

Does it matter that this violates anti-trust regulations in most Western democracies? Yes, the Web lives independent of national laws in many cases. But, I doubt if commerce and access to information would be exempt from regulation.

Like anyone who favors a corporate trust – in this instance a newspaper trust online – the Prime Minister wants to be king. Murdoch thinks he should be the Boss of Bosses in this Mafia..