Biopiracy: The misuse of patenting systems at the disadvantage of local communities

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Due to the increasing need for novel, untapped resources (biological and chemical), many research developments are looking at previously untouched and rural regions as a source for these new resources (© Pexels)

In the search for new bioresources in increasingly remote and rural regions, researchers will use the traditional knowledge of local communities to support their search for new, untapped plants, animals or chemical compounds. The ethical (and sometimes political) issues surrounding this come when this knowledge is used without permission, and exploits the local community’s assistance and culture for commercial gain. This is called biopiracy.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 March 2019)

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This month’s pest alerts contains the first report of the pest Urentius euonymus on Althea in Turkey (© Pexels)

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include a report on a new pest on Althea in Turkey, a new species of longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae) in Albania and the first report of Angarus as an egg parasitoid of the banana lacewing bug (Stephanitis typica).

To view all search results for new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases, click here or to view results by your location click here.

If there’s another new record you’d like to highlight, please post a comment.

Update: New Pest & Disease Records (05 February 2019)

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This month’s pest alerts includes the first report of hop stunt viroid infecting strawberries in China (© Pexels)

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of grapevine yellow speckle viroid-2 infecting grapevines, the first report of hop stunt viroid infecting strawberries in China and the first report of bean yellow mosaic virus infecting Tropaeolum maius in Hawaii. Continue reading

Crops downwind from wildfires at risk from atmospheric pollution

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Wildfires release pollutants such as aerosols, carbon dioxide. Both of which are known greenhouse gasses. (© Pexels)

With increasing numbers of wildfire disasters globally, research has shown that pollutants released from wildfires can affect crops, forests and other vegetation hundreds of kilometers downwind from the source.

As global temperatures increase, moisture and precipitation levels change, and dry areas becoming drier, the likelihood of droughts and prolonged wildfire seasons are increasing.These exacerbated conditions are also likely to cause more intense and prolonged burning.

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Using rice to filter pesticide runoff

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It may be practical to use rice crops to naturally filter and dissipate pesticide runoff from agricultural land (© Pexels)

Rice has been a staple food crop for millions of people for hundreds of years. This important crop is now a major part of 20% of the world’s population, with it being grown on every continent except Antarctica.

Whilst rice is known to be an important part of our diet, recently published research has shown how rice can be used in a unique way; to clean chemical runoff from farms before it can enter local water sources.

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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (04 January 19)

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This month’s pest alerts report includes the first report of Fusarium oxysporum as the causal agent of wild saffron corm rot disease in Iran (© USDA, Public Domain CCO).

We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Records this fortnight include the first report of Fusarium oxysporum as the causal agent of wild saffron corm rot disease in Iran, a report on two new hosts of Prillieuxina winteriana (Ascomycota) and the first record of Euplatypus parallelus in China. Continue reading

Agricultural pest control by bats in Madagascar

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The study found that native bat species preferred to feed around hillside farmland compared to forest due to the higher number of agricultural pest insects (© Pexels)

A new study has brought to light how native bat species in Madagascar are playing an important role in the control of agricultural crop pests. If more attention and information was brought to this, zoologists from the University of Cambridge believe that bats could reduce the financial strain on farmers for chemical pesticide use as well as the need to convert forests into fields. Continue reading