Alessandra Galiè, a social scientist specializing in gender issues in agricultural research who now works in Nairobi, Kenya, at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), conducted her doctoral research in Aleppo, Syria, at ILRI’s sister CGIAR institution, the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). This week Galiè received a prestigious award for an academic paper she published documenting how ICARDA’s participatory barley breeding program in pre-war Syria impacted women’s empowerment.
With colleagues from the Jenner and Pirbright institutes in the UK, Nairobi’s Strathmore University and institutions in Saudi Arabia and Spain, scientists and technicians in a vaccine biosciences program of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya, have recently published a paper in Nature announcing a breakthrough in development of a ‘One Health’ vaccine that could protect both people and livestock from Rift Valley fever.
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.
Two new papers on MERS (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome) coronavirus and camels in Eastern Africa have been published in the science journal ‘Emerging Infectious Diseases’; three of the authors are ILRI scientists.