Long feared, it’s now finally happened. African swine fever (ASF), an infectious and highly lethal viral disease of pigs, has for the first time reared its head in China. Just two weeks ago, African swine fever was confirmed as the cause of death of pigs on a small farm in Shenyang City, in Liaoning Province, located in the northeast, bordering North Korea and the Yellow Sea.
A new study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change.
At a time when the price of mutton is climbing and wool crashing, a groundbreaking new study has used advanced genetic sequencing technology to rewrite the history of sheep breeding and trading along the ancient Silk Road—insights that can help contemporary herders in developing countries preserve or recover valuable traits crucial to their food and economic security. The new findings regarding one of the first animals ever domesticated will be published in the October print edition of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. They are the product of an unprecedented collaboration involving scientists in China, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Finland, and the United Kingdom. The team analysed the complete mitochondrial DNA of 42 domesticated native sheep breeds from Azerbaijan, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Finland, China and the United Kingdom, along with two wild sheep species from Kazakhstan.
An interesting, if scary, read is chapter 6 of the recently launched flagship report of IFPRI on reducing and managing food scares, co-written by Delia Grace at ILRI and John McDermott, who directs the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, led by IFPRI.
On the occasion of Vietnamese lunar New Year 2015, we wish you a New Year of the Goat good health, prosperity and happiness.—Hung Nguyen and the rest of the staff in the Hanoi office of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
A major presentation was made at a special side event at the Borlaug Dialogue, in Iowa, on 15 Oct 2014. The side event was hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as part of a series marking ILRI’s 40-year anniversary this year. The presentation was made by Chris Delgado, who in 1999 led ground-breaking studies showing that a ‘Livestock Revolution’ was taking place in the global South.
A new study reveals conditions linked to the emergence and spread of deadly bird flu and maps the areas of Asia at greatest risk of the spread of the new virus strain. A dangerous strain of avian influenza, H7N9, that’s causing severe illness and deaths in China may be inhabiting a small fraction of its potential range and appears at risk of spreading to other suitable areas of India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature Communications.