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Topic: New project - Nutritious rice for the world (Read 19926 times) Print
Teletraan

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Seems WCG is taking a new turn. From the project thread:

"We are using our structure prediction algorithms available at Protinfo to predict the high resolution structures of proteins expressed in major rice strains. We will then use these structures to predict function, and interaction with other molecules including proteins, DNA, RNA, and nutrients (ions, small molecules, etc.) using
tools also available at the Protinfo site.

The eventual goal is to help farmers use marker assisted breeding to produce better rice strains with higher crop yields, greater disease and pest resistance, and that will provide a full range of bioavailable nutrients thereby benefiting those in regions where hunger and nutrient deficiency is a critical concern.

To accomplish this we need to understand the behavior of rice proteins, and this in turn is aided by understanding their molecular structure. Our software can predict the structure, but the computational challenge to solve this problem is great and would require decades of computing time on our best computer cluster. We expect that it can be done in about a year using World Community Grid."

Project information link:

http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/projects_showcase/rice/viewRiceMain.do
Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 02:57:25 PM by Teletran
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fingerle

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I don't think so....  Much better things to spend time on than one of the more robust and plentiful crops on the planet...

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Stephenish

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Honi soit qui mal y pense

Heard there's a food shortage since old Algore wen't getting a mandate for turning corn into ethanol. If you took the entire corn crop of the US and turned evey grain into methanol, you would only satisfy 18% of the gas consumption.

In the mean time, corn prices have been going up, and poor folks in other parts of the world are facing food shortages. Starvation, no eating, leading to death or malnutrition, or both.
Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 06:35:04 PM by Stephenish
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Stephenish

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and Soylent Green is made out of people!
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fingerle

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What's that got to do with the price of rice?

Rice is simple...   Plant it in an area with favorable climate and the stuff just simply grows..
It takes a bit to destroy a crop, mostly weather related stuff.
We don't need to research rice. Other than ask the Chinese how to grow it.
OH WAIT!  We already know how to do that... But since you need a LOT of space to make
it really profitable in the states, No one wants to grow it here.

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Stephenish

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No, fing we grow rice in the Houston area, and the finest rice in the world is grown near San Francisco.

I ike our export quality rice from San Francisco area, they grow a lovely short grain variety there. Kokuho Rose, Botan, and Nishiki, I think are all grown there. I like Nishiki.

The push to grow a more nutricious rice has been around awhile, first they made a rice with Vitamin A in it. Enhancing protein production might be a bit trickier.
Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 04:36:33 PM by Stephenish
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Stephenish

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http://www.usarice.com/industry/gov/Informa.pdf
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Adywebb

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What's that got to do with the price of rice?

Rice is simple...   Plant it in an area with favorable climate and the stuff just simply grows..
It takes a bit to destroy a crop, mostly weather related stuff.
We don't need to research rice. Other than ask the Chinese how to grow it.
OH WAIT!  We already know how to do that... But since you need a LOT of space to make
it really profitable in the states, No one wants to grow it here.



Sorry Fing this is so wrong - its no way as simple or as plentiful as you suggest.

There are acute shortages of rice in the world at the moment, the price has soared and people in the third world who rely on rice as their staple diet are starving and dying.

And its only going to get worse as the crops in Burma have been devastated and they are a major exporter.

Anything that can be done via research to produce better rice strains with higher crop yields, greater disease and pest resistance will be a godsend for many.

Even the US is effected - there are reports of several stores like Costco and Sam's Club limiting how much rice customers can buy - mainly to discourage stockpiling by restaurants.
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Ghost Plane

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Up until the 1800s, the plantations around these parts grew rice and indigo. Then cotton mills came in and they let it go. Huh?
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rwillis

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Sorry Fing this is so wrong - its no way as simple or as plentiful as you suggest.

There are acute shortages of rice in the world at the moment, the price has soared and people in the third world who rely on rice as their staple diet are starving and dying.

And its only going to get worse as the crops in Burma have been devastated and they are a major exporter.

Anything that can be done via research to produce better rice strains with higher crop yields, greater disease and pest resistance will be a godsend for many.

Even the US is effected - there are reports of several stores like Costco and Sam's Club limiting how much rice customers can buy - mainly to discourage stockpiling by restaurants.

I agree with Ady on this one, the only thing that scares me about genetically enhanced strains is the lack of diversity in the planted genome. If everyone plants the same strain, and a disease/pest likes it.............. possibly a bigger problem.
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Ghost Plane

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Maybe if they stopped building new houses on the prime farmland and actually PLANTED on it, there wouldn't be shortages Roll Eyes
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john galbraith

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No, fing we grow rice in the Houston area, and the finest rice in the world is grown near San Francisco.

I ike our export quality rice from San Francisco area, they grow a lovely short grain variety there. Kokuho Rose, Botan, and Nishiki, I think are all grown there. I like Nishiki.


I seem to remember China and Japan refusing to allow imports of American grown rice as they consider it inferior to their own, the same opinion they have about nearly everything American.  All they want to import from the USA is cash in return for the crap they send here.
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Dark Angel

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We export a lot of rice to Japan every year.  Whistle
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Stephenish

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I seem to remember China and Japan refusing to allow imports of American grown rice as they consider it inferior to their own, the same opinion they have about nearly everything American.  All they want to import from the USA is cash in return for the crap they send here.

The Japanese highly prize our short-grain rice from the San Fran area as I stated before most of it is export quality.
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I can think that than which a greater cannot be thought. Now, if that than which a greater cannot be thought existed only in the intellect, it would not be that than which a greater cannot be thought, since it can be thought to exist in reality which is greater. It follows, then, that that than which a greater cannot be thought exists in reality.
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Stephenish

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I agree with Ady on this one, the only thing that scares me about genetically enhanced strains is the lack of diversity in the planted genome. If everyone plants the same strain, and a disease/pest likes it.............. possibly a bigger problem.
One way to find out is to create the new strain and then send it to the agricultural laboratories for testing. I agree with Ady. The fear of genetically enhanced crops is real, but what if they can produce the new strain by traditional breeding techniques?
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john galbraith

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The Japanese highly prize our short-grain rice from the San Fran area as I stated before most of it is export quality.

I'd be willing to bet that the paddies where that rice is grown are owned by Japanese interests.  They didn't want American beef either until it started to be raised on Japanese owned cattle ranches here.  Most of the parts suppliers for the Toyota, Honda, etc. assembly plants here are also japanese owned or contolled.  They know how to take care of their own, something we have forgotten.
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Ghost Plane

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Still leads to weakness in the food chain if everyone concentrates on the single strain. We've seen it before with assorted diseases - homogeneity in our food supply is NOT a good thing. Bring back the heirloom tomatoes Thumbs Up
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Adywebb

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I agree with Ady on this one, the only thing that scares me about genetically enhanced strains is the lack of diversity in the planted genome. If everyone plants the same strain, and a disease/pest likes it.............. possibly a bigger problem.
The good thing about this project is it doesn't involve GM - the question has already been asked and answered by the project scientists over at WCG:

"No this project is not about genetic engineering - which is done in the laboratory and exchanges genes from different species. This research examines the structure of the proteins that make up rice at a level of detail that has not been possible before. Once we know the structure, we can identify the function and thus identify the plants to select for cross-breeding. Cross breeding is a technique that farmers have used since the human race began to cultivate crops rather than just collect whatever grew around them"

Quote from: Dark Angel
We export a lot of rice to Japan every year. 
Not much this year from what I read DA - seems the Aus rice production is estimated to be just 15,000 tonnes this year due to the drought, the smallest harvest since 1928   Sad

Last Edit: May 12, 2008, 10:42:32 PM by Adywebb
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Dark Angel

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Hmmm ... bugger.  Doh
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Dark Angel

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Ok ... we USED to export an ass load of rice to Japan.  Yap yap yap
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The good thing about this project is it doesn't involve GM



I thought you liked John?  Tongue
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Ghost Plane

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Adywebb

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 Doh
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TLD

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IMO any thing that homogenizes the plant genome is bad. you develop the super corn or rice it only takes one disease that effects that strain  to cause starvation like we have never seen before. look at the Irish potato famine caused by a blite that affected A particular strain of potato..
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Stephenish

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There are strains of rice that I don't think will be messed with anytime soon, with or without a new high-protein version

1) Basmati and Texmati, these varieties give a smell like fresh-popped popcorn. Basmati has been a long-time favorite in Asia.

2) Short-grain is preferred by the Japanese and Chinese. Otherwise known as sticky rice because the starches develop in cooking and make the rice clump up.

3) We also have Pecan rice here in the South. Never really cottoned to this variety.

4) Regular medium-grain and long-grain varieties.

There are probably more varieties that I am missing, but you get the picture.
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I can think that than which a greater cannot be thought. Now, if that than which a greater cannot be thought existed only in the intellect, it would not be that than which a greater cannot be thought, since it can be thought to exist in reality which is greater. It follows, then, that that than which a greater cannot be thought exists in reality.
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