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posted by janrinok on Thursday October 06 2016, @04:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the planting-the-future dept.

A major seed bank in Aleppo, Syria, holds genes that might help researchers breed crops to survive climate change. But the conflict tearing the country apart has rendered the bank largely inaccessible for the past four years. Now an effort to duplicate its seed collection at more-accessible locations is ramping up.

On 29 September, the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), which runs the bank in Aleppo, officially launched a sister bank in Terbol, Lebanon, which now hosts 30,000 duplicates. Together with a new bank in Rabat, Morocco, it will make thousands of seeds available to researchers.
Seed banks function as bank accounts for plant genes. Collectors deposit seeds, which can later be 'withdrawn' to replenish crops lost in conflict or disaster, to breed new traits into crops — such as pest or heat resistance — and to research the evolution of plants over the ages.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Thursday October 06 2016, @06:24PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 06 2016, @06:24PM (#411193) Journal

    The odds any science story will devolve to AGW pimping seems to be close to 1:1, some just take longer.

    I too thought that reference in the story was gratuitous at best. It was a stretch at best, but when preceded by the word "MIGHT" its just over the top pandering.

    Of course Aleppo is pretty much totally destroyed by warring factions, and that area of Syria hasn't produced any significant crops for about three years running, and the population has pretty much fled. Apparently none of the seeds in this seed bank have been salvaged, and perhaps have already found their way into someone's soup.

    Never mind all that, this is further proof that Global Warming is going to kill us all, and this whole war is all about oil.

    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 07 2016, @10:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 07 2016, @10:54AM (#411423)

    What I get from the news is that only parts of Aleppo are in war. The government controlled area's seem pretty safe (I've seen pictures of people having pool parties and such).