Gumming up the works

Researchers in Canada have developed an alternative to gum arabic by treating “soybean soluble polysaccharide” with some fancy enzyme. Bad news for gum arabic (an exudate of Acacia senegal) collectors and exporters in Sudan and Nigeria. Good news for soybean farmers around the world, I guess. But who’s in greater need of good news?

Setting the bar

And here’s another fun blog which the one mentioned in the previous post alerted me to. “The Barcode Blog” is “about short DNA sequences for species identification and discovery.” It’s been going for a couple of years but a quick search revealed only one agriculture-related posting, which had to do with the use of barcoding to identify pests and invasives. But I suspect that will change.

Legal eagle

I’ve just come across a blog maintained by Kathryn Garforth, a research fellow with the International Sustainable Biodiversity Law programme of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) who describes herself as “an independent legal researcher and consultant working in the areas of biodiversity, health and intellectual property rights.” Recent postings deal with the Starbucks Ethiopian coffee kerfuffle, biofuels and the Indian Biodiversity Act. Some very thoughtful stuff.