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Food security news

Scientists have shown for the first time that two different strains of the H3N8 influenza A virus (IAV) are able to infect and replicate in pigs; one isolated from seals and an avian strain circulating in poultry in the US. The study, which was led by Dr Maria Montoya from The Pirbright Institute in Surrey and CReSA in Barcelona, also revealed that the standard Haemagglutination Inhibition test (HAI) used to detect flu in livestock and a vital tool for flu surveillance, was ineffective for the H3N8 strain in porcine hosts.

A gene that helps plants to remain healthy during times of stress has been identified by BBSRC-funded researchers at University of Oxford. Its presence helps plants to tolerate environmental pressures like drought – and it could help create crops that can better withstand adverse conditions.

The Global Food Security (GFS) programme is pleased to announce that the first call of its new research programme ‘Resilience of the UK food system in a global context’ is now open. This programme has been co-designed by BBSRC, ESRC, NERC, Defra, FSA and the Scottish Government.