Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Alumni Stories > Alumnus Publishes Report on New Plant Breeding Techniques

Alumnus Publishes Report on New Plant Breeding Techniques

Alumnus James Walker has published a research briefing on new plant breeding techniques
Image copyright iStockPhoto.com
Image copyright iStockPhoto.com
James Walker left Hills Road in 2011 with A Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Geography, and is currently studying for a PhD in Zoology at Oxford. He recently completed an internship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology where he published a research briefing for parliamentarians on new plant breeding techniques, meant for a lay audience.

Below are the introduction and overview of the publication, written by James Walker and Peter Border. The full, four-page report can be found on the Parliament.uk website.

New breeding techniques have developed rapidly in recent years, allowing plant breeders to introduce new, or modify existing, traits efficiently in key crops. There is debate over whether some of these techniques constitute genetic modification (GM) as defined in EU Directive 2001/18 and are thus subject to the various EU GM regulations. This note outlines some of the new techniques, their applications and the regulatory challenges they raise.

Overview

  • The term New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) covers a range of methods that could accelerate improvement of crop varieties.
  • NBTs include emerging techniques commonly referred to as ‘genome editing’ (POSTnote 541) that aim to manipulate DNA at specific locations to rapidly generate potentially useful traits.
  • There is debate over how these techniques should be regulated, and whether some or all of them fall within the scope of EU legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 
  • Some of the crops produced using these techniques are difficult to distinguish from conventionally bred (non-GMO) plants.
  • Following the vote to leave the EU, the UK may choose to make its own regulatory decisions regarding NBTs.

Congratulations James on the publication of your report, and thank you for sharing it with us. If you would like to be featured on the Alumni network, please contact us at alumni@hillsroad.ac.uk

Similar stories

Jonny Littlewood - UEA graduate

Read about Jonny Littlewood who talks about his gap year, university and his time at Hills Road More...

Sian (far left) with friends in the quad

Sian answers 5 questions and shares some embarrassing pictures (and stories) from her time at Hills Road! More...

Matt George

Hills Road Alumnus Matt George is running the length of the country to raise money for The Refugee Council More...

Holly at the Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati Temple in Bali

Alumna Holly Phipps shares her experiences from her gap year since leaving Hills Road last summer. More...

Most read

#hillssocialaction

Read all about what Hills Road students have been getting up to during the summer 2019 term. More...

Jack Merritt

We are deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely death of 25-year-old Jack Merritt, former Hills Road Sixth Form College student from 2011 to 2013. More...

4 Carols 4 Christmas is a series of performances by Junior Garr & The Spirituals Choir

Libby Key, former Hills Road student, recorded 4 Carols 4 Christmas with The Spirituals at St Paul's Cathedral recently. More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech