Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rice is nice

Apparently for every one degree increase (Celcius) in ambient temperature, rice yields decline by about 15%.

Pretty scary when you consider that the globe is supposedly warming due to climate change and that about three billion people on this here warm globe rely on rice to feed themselves.

Luckily, the folks at the IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) are on it. They're trying to develop rice that can handle flooding, drought, and with high temperatures. They've had some successes before - having developed a high-yield rice back in th '60s - so there is hope.
They're also trying to develop rice that's enriched with Vatamin A. By implanting two genes from a daffodil and one from a bacterium into a variety of rice called japonica rice.

Sounds wierd to me, but hey - whatever works.

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