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Posts Tagged: Eduardo Blumwald

UC researchers try to make biofuel in tobacco plants

Peggy Lemaux
UC researchers are testing tobacco's potential to be genetically modified in order to produce biofuel, reported Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times' ScienceNow blog.

“The beauty of our proposal is that carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere as a byproduct of combustion of these bio-fuels would be captured again by tobacco plants and, through the natural process of photosynthesis, be converted back into fuel," said Anastasios Melis, professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley.

Peggy G. Lemaux, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, Melis and Krishna Niyogi, Agricultural Experiment Station faculty in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, are lead researchers in the project.

For more information and a video growing biofuel in tobacco leaves, see the UC Green Blog.

Additional coverage:

Lemaux and Eduardo Blumwald, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, were interviewed about biotechnology for a program that will air on the Bay Area’s KQED Channel 9 at 7:30 p.m. May 8. Lemaux and Blumwald will also participate in a "Google Hangout" at 11 a.m. May 8.

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Climate smart conference convenes scientists from around the world

Eduardo Blumwald, a speaker at a UC Davis conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture, sees GMOs as part of the solution to rising global food needs. (Photo: UC Davis)
Drought, population growth and salty soils are problems that may cause worldwide food shortages in the coming decades, reported Edward Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee.

These are problems that will be addressed by scientists and policymakers at the Climate-Smart Agriculture Global Science Conference at UC Davis this week.

For the story, Ortiz interviewed Eduardo Blumwald, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, one of the conference speakers. Blumwald believes many of the problems of world food production can be addressed with genetically modified organisms.

"There is no other alternative," he said. "Our population is increasing. We'll be at 9 billion people by 2050, and food security is a big problem."

Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of Food First, told the reporter he believes genetically modified crops are no silver bullet solution for salty and thirsty soil or for pest control.

"Building resilience into the ecosystem is the only way to address the problem," he said.

Alan McHughen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at UC Riverside, said he is a proponent of the judicious use of GMO technology.

"We have to investigate it – it has to be treated with respect," he said. "There will be some products that come through that we don't want to be commercialized, and then there will be others that should be commercialized more rapidly."

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Posted on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 2:58 PM
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